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South Korea tests new missile capable of striking Scuds

By Elizabeth Shim
South Korea tests new missile capable of striking Scuds
The U.S. Eighth Army's Army Tactical Missile System is launched on July 29 during a joint missile exercise in South Korea. South Korea is developing a new missile that will deter against North Korea threats, according to Seoul’s military. File Photo by Yonhap

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- South Korea's self-developed tactical surface-to-surface missile, or KTSSM, test-launched successfully on Tuesday, Seoul's military said.

But the system's completion will be delayed by four years because of missing components that are being sought for purchase and have yet to be approved by the United States, local newspaper Hankyoreh reported Wednesday.

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The test of the KTSSM on Tuesday took place at the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, and was attended by South Korean lawmakers on the National Assembly defense committee, who gave the launch a standing ovation after two missiles flew into the atmosphere, local news service EDaily reported.

The KTSSM is a weapons system capable of striking down Scud missiles, or long-range surface-to-surface missiles fired from mobile launchers.

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It is also part of Kill Chain, Seoul's pre-emptive strike system, and is capable of launching four projectiles within a few seconds from the same launcher.

The South Korea military has developed two versions of the weapons system: the KTSSM-I and KTSSM-II. Both systems launch thermal rockets that use a propellant that is externally heated before it is passed through a nozzle. The missiles are launched from a fixed platform.

South Korea's army chief of staff Gen. Kim Yong-woo said the weapons would be used to "neutralize North Korea's asymmetric threats."

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In a separate statement submitted Wednesday, South Korean lawmaker Kim Hak-yong said the KTSSM system is being delayed, with completion being postponed from 2019 to 2023 because the United States has yet to approve the purchase of more than 300 components, including a military GPS, according to Hankyoreh.

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