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N. Korea setting up missile defense system across country

All News 18:38 July 26, 2016

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is setting up its own missile defense system, a think-tank report said Tuesday, in an apparent response to the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.

The North has test-fired ground-to-air missiles and upgraded other defensive systems as part of its efforts to improve its air defense capability, the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA) said in a recent report titled, "North Korea's Political Analysis and Outlook."

Pyongyang appears bent on building up a missile defense system after Seoul decided to replace the Patriot PAC-2 antimissile system with a more lethal PAC-3 system by 2018 to better counter incoming missiles from the North, the semi-annual report said.

Moreover, on July 8, Seoul and Washington recently announced a decision to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea by the end of 2017 to better allow the allies to deal with evolving nuclear and missile threats from the North.

"In May, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un provided field guidance to the test-firing of the KN-06 ground-to-air missile named 'Thunder No. 5' and he ordered military officials to elevate the North's missile defense system to a higher level," the report said.

On top of improving its nuclear and missile capability, North Korea has stepped up efforts since 2013 to extend the range and the striking distance of its multiple rocket launchers.

The communist North has continued to test fire short-range KN-02 ballistic missiles and the Silk Worm surface-to-ship missile, aiming to improve their capabilities.


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