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South Korea plans to tests indigenous SLBM

  • South Korea announced the testing of SLBM
  • N. Korea already conducts underwater-launched ballistic missile test
  • Time for South Korea to build nuclear submarines
  • What are North Korea’s military capabilities?

South Korea has recently announced the testing of indigenously developed Submarine Launch Ballistic Missile (SLBM) this year. The announcement comes in response to N. Korea, which already conducts an underwater-launched missile test last year. The news comes from the local media of the country. 

South Korea SLBM is a land-based home-grown Hyunmoo-2B ground-to-ground ballistic missile. It has a maximum range of around 500 km. The missile will be tested using a 3000-ton Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine. 

Project Details and the threat from North Korea:

South Korea is working on these ballistic missile submarines in response to the North Korean SLBM. About a year ago, in October 2019 North Korea test-fired its indigenous SLBM. 

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The SLBM tested by North Korea was named Pukguksong-3. The missile range detected at that time by South Korea was around 450 km and it reached an altitude of 910 km. It appeared to be a new design with enhanced range and stability. 

South Korea’s new submarine project:

South Korea currently operates nine 1800-ton and nine 1200-ton submarines. While they are working on a project to build the new class of three 3000-ton class submarines. This new class of submarines is Changbogo-lll batch-l submarines and the project will be estimated to be completed by 2023.

The 1st submarine from the three submarines named Dosan Ahn Chang-ho was launched in 2018 and will be put into operational deployment this year. The second submarine will be launched in November this year. These submarines have six vertical launching tubes capable of firing SLBMs. 

South Korea also plans to build 4000-ton class next-generation attack submarines that might be equipped with a nuclear-powered engine. 

North Korean new weapons projects:

North Korea has been building the 3000-ton class submarines capable of launching 3 SLBMs. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has already announced the development of nuclear submarines. 

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North Korea also plans to build new weapon systems, advanced warheads, and hypersonic missiles. Kim Jong said in a statement. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). 


After analyzing the reports and news available on South Korea ballistic missile submarines, we can say that the Korean Peninsula including both North and South are in an arms race which dangerously destabilizing the region. After gaining the Submarine Launch Ballistic Missile capability, both countries gain the secure second-strike capability. 

On the other hand, the United States exporting the latest weapon systems to South Korea and helping the South to develop a new generation of weapons to counter the North Korean threat.


  1. Article published in Yonhap News Agency website
  2. Article published in The Defense Post
  3. Article published in the Reuters