SEOUL, South Korea - In a bid to deal with North Korea’s imminent nuclear challenge, South Korea has now said that it has successfully tested a new mid-range hit-to-kill missile interceptor to obliterate nukes.
The South Korean state news agency Yonhap claimed that the state-of-the-art missile destroyer was completed two months quicker than planned and will soon be sent in for mass production.
Further revealing the country’s plans, a defense official was quoted as saying that Seoul will install a whole fleet of these missile destroyers within two years.
According to the report, the M-SAM surface-to-air rocket which passed its test launches successfully will now form a key part of defense against possible North Korean missile attacks.
A South Korean defence insider also revealed anonymously, “The prototype of the M-SAM to intercept an enemy’s ballistic missile was rated fit for combat operation by meeting all the requirements at a test early this month.”
According to officials, the new defence weapon would thwart flying rockets up to 40km in altitude and blow them up before they hit any towns or cities.
The country has stated that mass production is likely to start before the end of this year and finish by 2019.
The new mid-range "hit-to-kill missile interceptor", code-named M-SAM would bolster the Seoul’s Korea Air and Missile Defence System (KAMD) which is set for completion in the early 2020s.
Meanwhile, increasing defiance of the UN Security Council sanctions, North Korea continues to develop and test more sophisticated missiles in what it claims is a bid to protect its sovereignty.
The threat of nuclear war between North and South Korea is at an all-time high.
Last week, Kim Jong Un vowed to build nuclear missiles faster than ever before, weeks after he accelerated the testing of mid-range nuclear-capable missile tests, launching three in three weeks last month.
While the U.S. has been the prime target of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ire - North’s neighbour and long-time rival, South Korea faces a more immediate and lot more destructive threat from Pyongyang.
South Korea’s defence spending has reportedly been set at a record $38.7 billion to combat increasing weapons threats from its Northern neighbour and China.
On the other hand, U.S. President Donald Trump continues to reinforce the South and in response to perceived U.S. aggression, North Korea has promised "weekly" missile tests.