A massive ballistic missile that is comparable to a tactical nuclear weapon in terms of power has been in the works in South Korea following the complete lifting of the imposed limitations by the US on missile development, sources said on Thursday.
Sources said that the surface-to-surface missile is currently at its last phase of development. It has the capacity to lift a warhead of up to 3 tons and its flight range is at 350 to 400 kilometers.
The sources added that the weapon’s deployment will be set following multiple test launches.
The defense ministry, during its presentation of the defense plan for 2022 to 2026, has promised to create new missiles “with significantly enhanced destructive power” as well as to position new interceptors to face artillery intimidations and to boost the Patriot system.
With this, it can be suggested that the missile can be ready for operation before 2026.
The missile being developed is engineered to abolish missile facilities and bases underground through entering underground tunnels in a bid to spoil nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) before they can be launched. The sources said that its range, if released around the inter-Korean border, can go as far as covering the entire areas of North Korea.
The country has successfully made the ground-to-ground Hyunmoo-4 missile last year. Its range can go up to 800 km and can lift as much as a 2-ton warhead.
“We will develop stronger, longer-range and more precise missiles so as to exercise deterrence and achieve security and peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the ministry said, as reported by Yonhap News Agency.
Spending of 315.2 trillion won or US$273 billion is being demanded by the said mid-term defense plan. This posted a 5.8 percent on-year increase on average.
The ministry said 208.5 trillion won of this amount will be allocated for force management while the 106.7 trillion won will be for defense capabilities boost.