Update 1: Changes headline, adds South Korea test center info
Seoul, Nov 9 (EFE) .- South Korea will build a new testing center for the development of weapons, including missiles to strengthen its defense systems in the face of North Korea’s repeated military and technology advances, Yonhap agency announced Wednesday citing a source close to the matter.
The country’s defense development agency plans to build the facilities near where it has its test center in the town of Taean, located on the coast of the Yellow Sea, about 110 kilometers southwest of Seoul, the source said.
The parliament’s defense committee recently approved a budget of about KRW 1.4 billion ($1.02 million) for the start of the works, which would have a total cost of about KRW 35 billion and reach completion toward 2026.
These new facilities would be used mainly to develop and test strategic weapons and reinforce the so-called “three-axis system” South Korea has operated since 2016 to counter possible attacks by North Korea.
The system consists of three elements; Kill Chain, the platform to detect possible enemy attacks and activating preemptive strikes with surface-to-surface and ship-to-surface missiles, the Korea Air and Missile Defense System, to intercept attacks, and the Korea Massive Punishment and Response, to attack the North Korean regime leadership in response to an attack.
North Korea on Wednesday launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan after having test-fired more than 30 missiles last week that further escalated tensions in the peninsula.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a brief statement that Pyongyang had fired an unspecified ballistic missile towards the East Sea (name given to the Sea of Japan in the two Koreas).
Japan’s government officials said that the missile was believed to have fallen in waters outside its exclusive economic zone and that there was no information of any damage caused by it, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.
North Korea fired at least 33 missiles of several types between Nov. 2 and 5 in response to large-scale air exercises by Seoul and Washington, the largest such drills conducted by the allies in the last five years.
Following the multiple missile launches, the US and South Korean militaries extended the training by another day and sent two B-1B stealth bomber aircraft to the Korean peninsula on Saturday for the first time in five years.
Tension in the peninsula is reaching unprecedented heights amid repeated North Korean weapons launches, the allies’ military drills and the possibility that, as satellites indicate, Kim Jong-un’s regime is ready for its first nuclear test since 2017. EFE