South Korea announced the launch of a new 3,000-ton class (27,200-kg) domestically produced submarine on Tuesday. The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) craft, the Shin Chae-ho, is the third of its kind, further strengthening the nation’s underwater defense.
As reported by Yonhap News Agency, the submarine launch ceremony was held at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard, southeast of Ulsan. The ship was named after the highly regarded Korean independence activist in both the South and the North.
The Shin Chae-ho is South Korea’s third Changbogo-III Batch-I SLBM submarine, part of a 3.09-trillion won ($2.77-billion) project launched in 2007.
The South Korean Navy described the submarine as a system with “a strong capability of deterring provocations,” citing its SLBM capabilities. “Some 76 percent of its parts are locally produced, which allows for maintenance and other technical support in a timely manner,” the statement added.
North Korea Responds
North Korea, which has had a tense relationship with the South for decades, is building its own SLBM-capable submarine. However, sources report that they are nowhere near completion.
Responding to the launch, North Korea’s missile development agency chief called it “clumsy” and still “in the elementary development stage.”
In September, the North conducted multiple missile launches, with the most recent including the insistence on their right to test weapons.