September 20, 2011 09:42
Officials from Seoul and Washington are discussing a revision of restrictions on the range of South Korean missiles, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Monday. The current missile guidelines restrict the range of South Korean ballistic missiles to 300 km, but Seoul wants them to cover the entire peninsula, according to Kim.
He made the remark in answer to an enquiry from Democratic Party lawmaker Park Sang-chun in a National Assembly audit of the Defense Ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Kim did not specify how much longer Seoul wants the range to be, but a range of some 800 km is needed to cover all of North Korea. This was the first time the defense chief has formally revealed that discussions are underway.
Asked whether he wants to extend the range to cover all missile bases in the North, Kim said yes.
The missile guidelines were worked out in 1979 and revised in 2001. They limit the range to 300 km and the payload to 500 kg, even though North Korea is developing inter-continental ballistic missiles.
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