S. Korea successfully test-launched two SLBMs earlier this week: gov't sources
SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea successfully test-fired two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) consecutively earlier this week, government sources said Thursday, in a sign the missile is nearing its operational deployment.
The military launched the SLBMs at an interval of 20 seconds from the 3,000-ton Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine in the Yellow Sea on Monday, the sources said. They flew some 400 kilometers and hit the preset maritime targets.
The test came after the country successfully carried out an SLBM test-launch from the submarine in September last year, becoming the world's seventh country with homegrown SLBMs.
Suh Hoon, the director of the presidential National Security Office, is said to have observed Monday's test-firing.
The latest launch highlights progress being made in South Korea's efforts to deploy the new weapons system capable of launching surprise strikes at hostile targets.
The Navy has been working on deploying the first batch of three 3,000-ton submarines, including the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine set to be deployed later this year. The Ahn Chang-ho submarine is known to be capable of carrying six SLBMs.
North Korea has also been striving to deploy SLBMs -- a formidable nuclear delivery vehicle that can launch a stealthy retaliatory strike even after surviving a preemptive attack.
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