South Korea has successfully test-fired a ballistic missile Wednesday that has range of at least 500 kilometers, various media reported Wednesday.
The state-run Agency for Defense Development has developed the missile over the past three years. "The successful test today allows us to deploy the new missile starting at the end of the year," a Defense Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
The development began in October 2012 when South Korea and the US announced their new missile guideline that extended the maximum range of Seoul's ballistic missiles from 300 km to 800 km.
It also allows Seoul to load its ballistic missiles with warheads heavier than the current limit of 500 kilograms but on the condition that their range decreases in proportion to the payload.
The missile is capable of reaching nearly all parts of North Korea, the Defense Ministry said in a show of force against the communist archrival. Further, it can also hit nuclear and missile bases across the communist country, officials added.
Till now, the South Korean military had a ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers capable of carrying a 500-kilogram warhead. South Korea has been trying to strengthen its defense system against North Korea's possible aggression.
The test took place at the ADD's firing range in Taean, South Chungcheong Province and was watched by President Park Geun-hye.