South Korea has developed and is set to produce a new preemptive strike missile in case of a crisis with North Korea.
The tactical ship-to-ground guided missile will be mass-produced next year, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
The missiles can be launched using inclined or vertical launch systems, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, a South Korean arms procurement agency.
The new missiles will help with the offensive capabilities of South Korea's smaller frigates. The country's destroyers have ship-to-surface cruise missiles, NK News reported.
While the smaller warships have anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons, the new missiles will allow them to attack targets on the ground, according to a Yonhap report.
"[South Korea] has become able to strike from the sea not only the enemy's major bases on the ground, but also core facilities, including those related to ballistic missile launches," according to Lee Sang-Moon, head of DAPA's guided weapon development group.
DAPA said shrapnel from the missiles could destroy any area up to the size of two football fields, as well as penetrate armored vehicles.
According to reports, South Korea would be able to hit North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile sites within half an hour.
The United States and South Korea agreed last year to activate THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), a defense system designed to shoot down North Korean missiles, according to a separate Yonhap report.
"We're on track as far as that goes for THAAD deployment," Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in the Yonhap report.
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