Strategic Weapons: South Korean Cruise Missile

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October 25, 2007: South Korea has developed a cruise missile, similar in appearance to the American Tomahawk, with a range of 1,000 kilometers or more. The missile, called Hyunmoo III, has a half ton warhead. For the last 30 years, the United States has been discouraging South Korea from developing long range ballistic missile. Despite the U.S. refusal to help, South Korea developed a 180 kilometer range ballistic missile (Hyunmoo I), and a 300 kilometer one (Hyunmoo II) in the 1980s. Both are about 40 feet long and weigh 4-5 tons. South Korea belongs to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and thus agrees not to build ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers. Hyunmoo I and II were based on the U.S. Nike-Hercules anti-aircraft missile, which South Korea used for many years.

Cruise missiles are simpler technology, and apparently the Hyunmoo III is made entirely with South Korean developed components. Like the Tomahawk, Hyunmoo III appears to be about 18 feet long, weighs 1.5 tons and has a half ton warhead. North Korea has about 600 ballistic missiles aimed at South Korea.

 


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