Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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New South Korean Cruise Missile was Built to Destroy North Korea Ballistic Missile Sites

Cluster munitions carrier

(Photo : ROKN) Launch of an Haeseong II or the Tactical Surface Launch Missile.

The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) in 2019 will deploy the Haeseong II supersonic, ship-launched, land attack cruise missile (LACM) whose long-range and cluster munitions warhead makes it the weapon of choice for destroying mobile or fixed ballistic missile sites anywhere within North Korea.

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A single Haeseong II LACM, which is also known at the Tactical Surface Launch Missile (TSLM), can deploy hundreds of explosive submunitions in an area 200 meters long, or the size of two football pitches, up to 500 kilometers away.

The exact type of submunitions hasn't been revealed but it might be one produced by Hanwha Corporation, only one of two South Korean firms that produce cluster bombs and explosive cluster submunitions. The other firm is Poongsan Corporation.

Hanwha produces the KCBU-58B cluster bomb and the M261 Multi-Purpose Submunition rockets for the Hydra-70 air-to-ground rocket system. Poongsan's cluster submunitions are used in 155 mm long-range artillery rounds.

South Korea is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that prohibits the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs. Other notable non-signatories are the United States, China and Russia.

Haeseong II will be deployed in 2019 aboard the new Incheon-class (FFX-1) frigates; the new next generation Daegu-class (FFX-II) multi-role frigates and on destroyers.

The lead ship in the Incheon-class, the ROKS Incheon (FFG-811), was commissioned only in 2013. South Korea plans to build six of these warships. The first ship in the Daegu-class, ROKS Okpo (FFG-818), was launched in June 2016. Eight Daegu-class frigates are to be built.

Haeseong II can be used against North Korean ballistic missile installations and mobile missile launchers. It can also destroy light armored or soft-skinned vehicles and support vehicles, according South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

A unique feature of Haeseong II is its ability to be re-directed to a new target while in flight in real time, an advantage that led to its initial classification as an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) by the U.S.

Haeseong II can either be launched by inclined canisters or vertical launching systems (VLS) on ROKN destroyers and frigates. 

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