SKor military bolsters defense readiness
South Korean armed forces were placed on a higher state of alert Monday following North Korea's alleged nuclear test. The Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered troops near the inter-Korean land and sea borders to bolster security levels.
The Ministry of National Defense activated a crisis management team after the South Korean and U.S. geological agencies reported North Korea's second underground nuclear test, which the communist state said was successful.
An intelligence source said the second test appeared to have used more plutonium. ``We're closely analyzing if the North has improved its nuclear weapons capability,'' he said, adding there might be a possibility that North Korea carried out the second test in an effort to secure the technology to downsize a nuclear warhead so that it can be mounted onto a long-range missile.
In a related development, South Korea's military is planning to acquire the necessary weapons systems to deter North Korea's lingering nuclear and missile threats in a more effective way.
|Which we've been told by 'experts' is years and years away. Couldn't possibly happen soon ...|
Under a revised defense reform package to be unveiled next month, the ministry plans to increase the procurement numbers of precision-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and air-launched cruise missiles, according to sources. It aims to buy 1,400 JDAMs by 2013 to bring its total number to 4,551, they said.
|The SKor military seems to think that the nukes, the missile tests, the increased aggression and the already heavy Nork military mean something.|
Earlier this month, it was unveiled that the South Korean Air Force was seeking to equip some of its KF-16 fleet with JDAMs.
In addition, the South plans to acquire about 270 joint air-to-surface, standoff (cruise) missiles (JASSM) by 2011. The JASSM, developed by U.S. Lockheed Martin, is an autonomous, long-range, air-to-ground, precision missile designed to destroy high-value, fixed and mobile targets.
Germany's TAURUS KEPD 350 missile is a viable candidate for the acquisition program, sources say, adding that the development of nuclear-powered attack submarines is expected to be considered as an option to counter the North's nuclear threat.
Posted by: Steve White 2009-05-26