China tests new guided missile in Bohai Sea

Kristopher Drake
May 13, 2017

The timing of the announcement coincides with the election of South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in and comes amid a continued dispute between Beijing and Washington over the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system on South Korean soil.

The weapon, which was not identified, was sacked into the Bohai Sea and "achieved the intended result", a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said, adding that the test was carried out to "raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security".

In order to de-escalate tensions surrounding the Korean peninsula, Beijing has come up with an initiative to call on North Korea to refrain from carrying out further missile and nuclear tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending their military exercises in the region.

A statement by the Chinese defence ministry yesterday said that Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile in the Bohai Sea.

It said the test was created to boost the military's capacity to fight threats to national security.

At a regular news briefing last month, China's defence ministry responded to questions about the THAAD deployment by foreshadowing the weapons tests, saying they were necessary to safeguard its national security.

The US said the THAAD deployment was aimed at countering any missile attack by North Korea against the South, Japan and the US. The conflict is that the United States had delivered the THAAD to South Korea in March and is operational now.

It didn't reveal the type of missile or provide other details.

The DF-26B is the new generation of the Dongfeng series missiles. Further, the recent missile test indicates that Beijing is proactively improving its defense and counterattack capabilities.

"According to what I understand, the North Korean side will send an official delegation to relevant events at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that will shortly be taking place", China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily briefing yesterday.

Another carrier, the Ronald Reagan, will join with it late this month, according to an earlier report from the Nikkei Asian Review.

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