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(LEAD) S. Korea to beef up missile detection capabilities against N.K. threats: JCS

All News 10:27 October 06, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead as audit begins; ADDS fresh details throughout)
By Oh Seok-min and Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will further strengthen "tailored" deterrence, along with the United States, against North Korea's nuclear and missiles threats while enhancing its attack and missile defense capabilities, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Wednesday.

"We've seen various factors that challenge the security and peace on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has continued to work on its nuclear and missiles programs," the JCS said in a report for the annual parliamentary audit on its affairs.

Last week, the North test-fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile, the latest in a series of missiles launches by the communist country in recent weeks. Days earlier, the North launched a new type of hypersonic missile, which came on the heels of firing two short-range ballistic missiles and a new long-range cruise missile.

This photo, released by the Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 1, 2021, shows a new type of anti-aircraft missile, developed by North Korea's Academy of Defence Science. The North test-fired it the previous day, according to the agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

"In response, we will further develop the Korea-U.S. tailored deterrence strategies, and will beef up our strategic striking and missile defense capabilities by maximizing cutting-edge science technologies," the JCS said, citing such assets as the F-35 fighter jets, the Cheongung II surface-to-air guided missile, and the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

During the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) held last week in Seoul, Seoul and Washington conducted a tabletop exercise (TTX) that was designed to strengthen their tailored deterrence against the threats by North Korea, according to the defense ministry.

The JCS also vowed to introduce additional surveillance and reconnaissance assets, including unmanned vehicles, and to enhance ballistic missile detection and interception capabilities by upgrading Patriot missiles and early warning radar systems.

In order to discuss security and alliance issues, JCS Chairman Gen. Won In-choul plans to meet with his U.S. counterpart. Gen. Mark Milley for this year's Military Committee Meeting (MCM) next month in Seoul, the JCS said.

The MCM is held every year, usually a day before the defense ministers of the two countries hold the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM). This year's SCM is slated to be held in Seoul.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's audit took place as scheduled, though lawmakers affiliated with the parliamentary national defense committee failed to hold the planned session for the defense ministry due to a partisan strife over a snowballing land development corruption scandal potentially involving Lee Jae-myung, the ruling party's presumptive nominee to run in next year's presidential election.

Defense Minister Suh Wook (C) leaves a parliamentary audit venue at the defense ministry building in Seoul on Oct. 5, 2021, after the planned audit did not take place as the rival parties clashed over a land development scandal. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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