Beijing, China | AFP | China has recently tested a new type of guided missile in a northeastern sea near the Korean peninsula, the defence ministry said Tuesday, hours after South Korean elections and amid regional tensions.
The test in the Bohai Sea was conducted to “raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security,” the ministry said in a brief statement.
The statement did not say when the launch took place, only that it happened “recently.” It did not give any details about the missile nor the type of platform from which it was launched.
The announcement came on the day that South Koreans elected left-leaning former human rights lawyer Moon Jae-In in a presidential election held after a scandal led to the impeachment of the country’s previous leader.
The test also comes as China, the United States and the Koreas are locked in a complex diplomatic spat over Pyongyang’s missile launches and potential new nuclear tests.
The US military has installed an anti-missile defence system in South Korea to counter the North Korean threat, but China sees the deployment as a threat to the regional security balance and its own ballistic missile capabilities.