South Korean missile development restrictions lifted by US


A Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missile mobile launcher of the Republic of Korea Army. Photo c/o AFP.

Leaders of South Korea and the United States have announced that the United States Government has lifted restrictions to South Korean missile development programs. 

The missile guidelines was signed in 1979, with the South Korean Government allowing restrictions to be implemented in their missile development in return for US allowing sale of missiles and missile technology to South Korea.

As part of his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced on 21 May 2021 that missile development guidelines has been ended.

He also mentioned that this is a symbolic and substantive measure to demonstrate solidity of US-Republic of Korea alliance.

The termination of the US-imposed guidelines will now allow South Korea to develop new generation of cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges beyond 800 kilometers, and maximum payload of 500 kilograms.

The guidelines on missile development has been revised four times in the past due to increasing threats from North Korea.

Revisions made in 1997 included allowing South Korea to develop ballistic missiles with a 500-kilogram warhead and maximum range of 300 kilometers, while another revision in 2012 increased allowable range to 800 kilometers with a 500-kilogram warhead.

Further revisions were made in 2017 that removed the 500-kilogram warhead limitation, while a changes made in 2020 gave South Korea the go-signal to develop solid-propellant space rockets.

Defense observers believe that South Korea may start development of intermediate-range ballistic missiles with maximum range between 1,000 to 1,500 kilometers, reaching targets beyond the Korean Peninsula.

It was already announced before that South Korea plans to develop longer-ranged submarine-launched ballistic missiles compared to those currently under development.

Yonhap News Agency
[2] Nikkei Asia
[3] Defense News

South Korean missile development restrictions lifted by US South Korean missile development restrictions lifted by US Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 04, 2021 Rating: 5

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