By Kelsey Davenport
South Korea tested a new ballistic missile capable of longer ranges than its existing systems, according to officials quoted in South Korean papers. The ballistic missile, known as the Hyunmu-2C, has an estimated range of 800 kilometers, enabling South Korea to target any part of North Korea. A test launch, although not conducted at full range, was reported to have been successful. The test took place in early April at the Agency for Defense Development’s Anheung test site near Taean.
South Korea and the United States reached an agreement that allowed South Korea to extend the range of its ballistic missiles to 800 kilometers with a 500-kilogram payload in 2012. (See ACT, November 2012.) Previously, South Korea was limited under a 2001 agreement with the United States to restrict its ballistic missiles to a range of 300 kilometers with a 500-kilogram payload. The Hyunmu-2C is not the first ballistic missile that Seoul has tested under the extended-range agreement. Seoul also developed the Hyunmu-2B, which has a range of 500 kilometers. South Korean officials have said on several occasions that the Hyunmu-2C will be deployed by the end of 2017.