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S. Korea launches first home-built 4,500-ton landing ship

South Korea on Wednesday unveiled its first indigenous 4,500-ton amphibious landing ship, which will be deployed on the Navy's landing and transportation operations in 2015, the Navy said.

The lead ship of 3,500-ton class named after Cheonwangbong, the highest peak of Mount Jiri, was built with domestic technology by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co.

A launching ceremony was held in Hanjin's shipyard in the southern port city of Busan, which was attended by Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, the Navy chief of Staff, and Lee Ho-yeon, the commander of the Marine Corps, as well as company and government officials.

"This ship, which has advanced mobility and loading capacity, will play a major role in the landing operations to improve our military's amphibious warfare capability," Choi said in an address during the ceremony.

The vessel is 126 meters long and 19 meters wide, with a maximum speed of 23 knot. It can accommodate 300 fully-armed forces as well as amphibious tanks and two helicopters with a launching pad.

The vessel will be commissioned to the South Korean Navy in the latter half of next year and will be deployed on transportation and peacekeeping missions in 2015, military officials said. (Yonhap news)

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