South Korea plans to increase the number of ballistic and cruise missiles with a view to incapacitating North Korea's nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in an emergency. The government and military aim to spend some W2.5 trillion (US$1=W1,170) over the next five years to secure 500-600 new cruise and ballistic missiles.
A government source on Sunday said, "Given the mounting threat of provocations from the North since Kim Jong-un took power, the Defense Ministry reported to President Lee Myung-bak last month a plan to increase missile capabilities in response to asymmetric threats from the North."
The military will boost the number of new Hyunmu-3 series cruise missiles, which have a range of between 500 and 1500 km and the Hyunmu-2 ballistic missiles, which have a 300 km range. Both were unveiled last month. They are supposed to incapacitate the North's nuclear weapons facilities, Rodong and Scud missile bases, biochemical weapons facilities, command facilities, and Air Force bases in the early stage of a war to prevent or minimize damage to South Korea.
The military wants to ask the government for a budget for these plans and implement it as soon as possible. Lee approved the plans when Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin reported them on April 28, the source added.
The Hyunmu-3 cruise missile can hit targets with 1-3 m accuracy, and the Hyunmu-2 ballistic missile with 50 m accuracy. Each of the new missiles costs about W4 billion.