SEOUL --- South Korea's military test-fired a ballistic missile with a range of at least 500 km under President Park Geun-hye's observation, the presidential office said on Wednesday.
Park visited the Anheung firing range in southwest South Korea for the first time in 30 years in the capacity of the head of state.
The state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) test- launched the ballistic missile, named Hyunmoo-2B, with a range of more than 500 km that covers all areas of the Korean Peninsula.
The successful development of medium-range ballistic missile came about two and a half years after the United Statesand South Korea revised guideline on ballistic missiles in October 2012.
Under the guideline revision, South Korea was allowed to expand the range of missiles from 300 km to 800 km. The ADD is reportedly developing a ballistic missile with a range of 800 km.
The developed 500-km missiles are forecast to be deployed to military bases under the Army's missile command by the end of this year.
If deployed, the missiles would strike nuclear and missile bases of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in emergency situations as part of the Kill Chain and the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) systems, which the South Korean military is building as its own missile defense program.
The test-firing of missiles came after the DPRK recently announced its capability of miniaturizing nuclear warheads small enough to be mounted onto ballistic missiles.
The DPRK is reportedly to have deployed Scud missiles with a range of 300-550 km, Rodong missiles ranging from 1,000 km to 1, 300 km and Musudan missiles covering areas of about 3,000 km.