World War 3 fears grow as South Korea tests first submarine ballistic missile

South Korea has tested its first ever submarine-launched ballistic missile, raising World War Three fears.

It becomes the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a capability.

The seven other countries who have developed the missiles are the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, India and North Korea.

It comes as the North Korea prepares for a big military parade.

It is thought that the test aims to reduce South Korea's reliance on the USA amid its neighbours in the North's increased provocation and nuclear threat.

South Korea has developed increasingly powerful missiles designed to target heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels in North Korea.

A new Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine carried out the test last week, after similar tests were conducted from a submerged vessel last month, according to the news agency Yonhap.

South Korea's defence ministry declined to comment on the report, citing security reasons.

The nation recently allocated nearly 1.5 trillion won (£942 million) for defence technology research and development in a budget request submitted to parliament.

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The defence ministry released its defence blueprint for 2022 to 2026 which called for developing new missiles "with significantly enhanced destructive power".

The missile is believed to be a variant of the South Korea's Hyunmoo-2B, with a range of about 500km. It will be fitted with conventional warheads.

Tensions between North and South Korea have risen this year and the reclusive dictatorship left the hotline unanswered during military drills last month.

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That move came hours after the influential sister of North Korea's leader Kim jong-un said the South should pay a price for holding military drills with its bitter enemy the USA.

Kim Yo-jong said North Korea would strengthen its pre-emptive strike capabilities.

The country also cut the lines in 2020 as relations soured following a failed peace summit.

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