South Korea has launched its first ever missile-capable attack submarine despite a recent diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea.
The $700 million and 3000-tonne Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is capable of firing both cruise and ballistic missiles and the first of three planned diesel-electric boats to go into service in the next five years.
South Korean President Moon Jae In spoke at the launch ceremony, saying the sub represented a “leap forward in the country’s” defense industry. “Peace through power is the unwavering security strategy of this government.”
Peace is the focus of agenda in future meetings as Moon scheduled to meet his counterpart, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in the North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang on September 18 for the third inter-Korean summit this year.
Besides the new vessels, South Korea has an existing fleet of 18 smaller submarines, all built in co-operation with Germany.