The South Korean Navy has reportedly test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a locally developed submarine.

Yonhap News Agency (YNA) reported, citing an undisclosed military source, that the launch makes South Korea the eighth country to possess the capability.

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The US, Russia, the UK, China, North Korea, France and India are the other seven nations that have successfully developed the weapon.

An undisclosed defence ministry official told Bloomberg that the missile was fired from South Korean Navy’s 3,000t Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine last week.

The official also added that the SLBM is a Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile variant and has around 500km range.

The news agency also reported that the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) performed underwater ejection tests of the missile from the vessel.

Last month, it conducted launches from an underwater barge.

The country’s defence ministry was quoted by YNA as saying: “Our military secures advanced high-powered military assets to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula by building strong military capabilities and plans to continue to develop them.”

In September 2018, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho was launched at the DSME Okpo Shipyard. It is 83.3m-long and 9.6m-wide, and capable of accommodating a total of 50 crewmembers.

The submarine is equipped with six vertical launch tubes.

In January, North Korea reportedly displayed a new SLBM at a military parade in Pyongyang.