Seoul to bolster missile defense after Pyongyang’s tests

Seoul, Oct 6 (EFE).- South Korea is set to strengthen its missile system in order to develop a joint “tailored deterrence” strategy with the United States according to a report released on Wednesday, days after the North carried out its fourth missile test within three weeks.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a report for its annual parliamentary audit that as the dialog with Pyongyang had remained stuck, the regime had continued to “bolster its nuclear and missile capabilities,” and that despite the possibility of dialog, it could resort to military provocations.

The report comes days after North Korea carried out its fourth missile test in 20 days, even though North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had restored communication channels with Seoul after a gap of 2 months, and insised that the South was not their military target.

“We will further develop the Korea- US tailored deterrence strategies, and will beef up our strategic striking and missile defense capabilities by maximizing cutting-edge science technologies,” the JCS said.

Last week the US and North Korea carried out a joint simulation exercise to strengthen the deterrence system, it added.

The report cites assets such as the F-35 fighter jets acquired from the US, the new Cheongung II surface-to-air guided missile, and the submarine-launched ballistic missile, which Seoul put on display three months ago in response to a North Korean missile launch.

According to the document, the South Korean military is reassessing the regional security situation in light of the US-China rivalry and the North Korean Workers’ Party congress in January, in which Kim Jong-un said that his regime was developing latest-generation weapons.

Some of these assets, such a new cruise missile and a hypersonic missile, have already been tested by Pyongyang, which, along with Soul’s new endeavors, makes it clear that the peninsula is headed for a weapons race even as the denuclearization dialog remains stuck since 2019. EFE


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