South Korea on Friday announced the successful test-launch of a new ballistic missile with a longer range than any other high-altitude projectile in its arsenal.
The new missile is capable of traveling as far as 310 miles, Reuters reported. South Korea developed the new missile under a 2012 agreement with the United States that permits Seoul to domestically produce ballistic missiles with ranges close to 500 miles.
Seoul’s missile declaration follow’s North Korea’s test-firing last week of two medium-range ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting all parts of South Korea and Japan, as well as some areas in China and Russia.
In announcing the successful test-flight of the missile, South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said the military also was focusing on producing missiles with the maximum range permitted under the U.S.-South Korea accord.
The longer-range ballistic missiles are intended to permit the launching of strikes from anywhere in South Korea on all areas of North Korea, particularly its strategic assets and military posts, said Kim, indicating that the new weapons were intended as a response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile efforts.
An unidentified military official told the Yonhap News Agency that the missile fired in the March 23 test “accurately hit the intended target.”
Once the 310-mile missile is fielded, the defense ministry will test-launch the 500-mile range missile in 2015, the official said.