S Korea launches missile test to hit N Korea

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S Korea launches missile test to hit N Korea

SEOUL: (APP) South Korea has successfully test-fired a home-developed ballistic missile with a range long enough to hit any part of North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported Thursday.

It comes a day after the North fired its own ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan -- which analysts dubbed a warning ahead of a summit, at which Pyongyang's accelerating atomic weapons programme is set to top the agenda.

South Korea is protected under an American security umbrella and is home to thousands of US troops.

But in 2012 it reached an agreement with the United States to almost triple the range of its ballistic missile systems to guard against the North's nuclear threats, and has since been developing missiles with longer ranges.

Citing a high-ranking government official, Yonhap said the South's missile with a range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) could serve as a strong deterrent to Pyongyang.

"The test-firing was successful", the official was quoted as saying.

A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment.