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(LEAD) Transition team vows to bolster capabilities to deter N.K. nuclear, missile threats

All News 15:25 April 26, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details; ADDS photo)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The government of incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol will bolster capabilities to deter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the transition team said Tuesday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed in a military parade to further strengthen his nuclear arsenal.

The parade only proved that North Korea has focused on developing the means to threaten peace not only on the Korean Peninsula but in Northeast Asia and the world, while outwardly calling for peace and dialogue for the past five years, the transition team said in a statement.

A new Hwasong-17 missile is displayed during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on April 25, 2022, as North Korea marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of its army with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in attendance, in this photo released the next day by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

"North Korea's nuclear and missile threats have become a serious and realistic threat to us, so building the capability to deter them is the most urgent task," the statement said.

"The incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government will strengthen the South Korea-U.S. alliance and swiftly complete the South Korean three-axis system to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, while simultaneously developing far-superior military technologies and weapons systems," it added.

The three-axis system is designed to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and consists of Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict; the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform; and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD).

The statement came only hours after North Korean state media said Kim attended the parade in Pyongyang on Monday and vowed to boost the country's nuclear capabilities at "the fastest rate."

He also warned the country's nuclear weapons "cannot be confined solely within the boundaries of preventing a war" if a situation arises "that we never hope to witness in this land."

The parade marked the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army (KPRA), an anti-Japanese guerilla force known to have been created by national founder Kim Il-sung in 1932.

The public display of weapons, including the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), came amid concern North Korea could stage a major provocation, such as a nuclear or ICBM test, ahead of Yoon's inauguration on May 10.

hague@yna.co.kr
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