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S.Korea develops its longest range missile

Reuters | September 21 2006

South Korea has developed and hopes to deploy soon a new cruise missile that is capable of hitting almost all of North Korea, a defense ministry official said on Thursday.

North Korea, which has one of the biggest missile arsenals in Asia, defied international warnings and test-fired seven missiles in July, including a long-range ballistic missile that fizzled after take-off but one day might be able to hit parts of U.S. territory.

The new South Korean cruise missile, with a range of 500 km (310 miles), will be the longest-range missile in its arsenal and is capable of hitting all of North Korea's ballistic missile bases, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Cruise missiles fly much like airplanes, often at low altitudes in order to avoid detection by radar.

Three South Korean submarines that will take to the sea next year will be fitted with launchers for the missile, dubbed Cheon Ryong, which can be translated as sky dragon, the official said.

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