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South Korea inaugurates new 3,000-ton submarine

South Korea's new 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, Ahn Mu, is anchored at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. in the southeastern city of Geoje, South Korea, on Tuesday. Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
South Korea's new 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, Ahn Mu, is anchored at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. in the southeastern city of Geoje, South Korea, on Tuesday. Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- South Korea held a ceremony for a new 3,000-ton submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles.

Seoul's defense chief Suh Wook said Tuesday the diesel-powered submarine brings pride to the South's military and pays tribute to Korea's independence fighters who died during Japan's colonial occupation of the peninsula, JoongAng Ilbo reported.

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The new submarine is named after Ahn Mu, a Korean general in pre-colonial Korea, who was executed by Japanese police in 1924, after leading the Battle of Bongo-dong and Cheongsan-ri in 1920. Korea observed the 100th anniversary of the armed struggle between the Korean independence militias and the Japanese Army in Manchuria this year.

Suh said Tuesday that he could "feel the dignified spirit of the general who commanded the Manchurian field 100 years ago" at the launch. South Korean submarines commissioned after 2010 have been named after various anti-colonial fighters and martyrs, according to the JoongAng.

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The South Korean defense minister also said threats are rising in the world's seas, and that Seoul's navy will be "reborn as an advanced ocean navy, with the next generation of Korean destroyers and a 4,000-ton submarine."

The Ahn Mu is the second of three 3,000-ton-class submarines in a "Batch I" to be built by 2023, and can carry 50 crewmembers. The submarines are part of a $2.77 billion project that began in 2007, according to Yonhap on Tuesday.

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The weapons are designed to guard against North Korea's nuclear threat. Korea could also be keeping up with advancements in neighboring China and Japan, according to the JoongAng.

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The Ahn Mu joins the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, which was launched in 2018. The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho reached its maximum depth during sea trials in 2019, but the maximum dive depth for the submersible craft, built by Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering is classified, according to Naval News.

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