17:13 GMT +327 May 2019
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    This picture taken on September 25, 2017 shows a South Korean soldier standing by a Cheongung medium range surface-to-air missile system.

    S Korean Forces Accidentally Launch Anti-Aircraft Missile During Check - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / JUNG Yeon-Je
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A routine maintenance check at a South Korean air force base in Chuncheon on Monday ended with an anti-aircraft guided missile getting accidentally launched and exploding in midair, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing a military official.

    According to the outlet, a Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile exploded at around 10:38 a.m. local time (01:38 GMT) some 53 miles northeast of Seoul.

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    The missile is designed to explode in cases of guidance system failures after launch, the air force's official explained.

    The accident caused no casualties or material damage, and a task force has been formed to investigate the cause of the accident, he added.

    The Cheongung (KM-SAM) missile, which was designed by South Korea with Russia's technical support, was first tested in a live-firing mission late 2017. The 15-foot-long missile is capable of striking an aircraft at a range of 25 miles and an altitude of up to 10 miles.

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