SK Shows Off New Cruise Missiles

South Korean military authorities announced on Thursday that the army has deployed cruise missiles capable of striking anywhere in North Korea.

Shin Won Shik, head of policy planning in the ROK defense ministry announced in a briefing that South Korea has independently researched and developed its own cruise missiles “capable of striking anywhere in North Korea with maximum precision.”

Shin claimed that the new missiles give South Korea the ability to “strike North Korean facilities, equipment and personnel several hundred kilometers away in the required timeframe and as often as desired, with a high degree of accuracy.”

“This capability gives the army a stronger readiness posture, so in the case of any reckless provocations we will punish North Korea resolutely and thoroughly.”

Shin added that the cruise missiles are capable of striking anywhere in North Korea from any launch site in South Korea, meaning that the new missiles have a range of over 1,000 kilometers.

For decades South Korea was unable to develop ballistic missiles with a range of over 180 kilometers and with warheads over 500 kilograms due to the terms of an agreement reached with the US in the 1970s. However, in 1995 the South Korean government negotiated with the US to increase this range to 300 kilometers and remove the restrictions on developing cruise missiles. Since then the government has been working steadily on developing cruise missiles and deploying them for any potential conflict with its northern neighbor.

So far the South Korean military has developed the Hyunmoo-3A, which has a range of 500km; the Hyunmoo-3B, which as a range of 1,000km; and is now in the last stages of development with the Hyunmoo-3C, which can fly 1,500km and is currently in the deployment phase.

The army also unveiled newly deployed ballistic missiles. The new missiles are capable of flying up to 300km and scorching surfaces measuring several football fields. Military authorities believe that the local creation will be more powerful then the US-built surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) currently deployed in South Korea.

An officer from the Joint Staff explained that the reason the South Korean Defense Ministry waited until now to reveal the new cruise and ballistic missiles is to send a strong response to North Korea’s recent rocket launch, which it claims was a provocation.

The announcement of new military capabilities follows UN condemnation of North Korea’s failed ‘Gwangmyungsung-3’ rocket launch on Monday and subsequent indications that North Korea may be planning to proceed with a third nuclear test in the near future.