April 04, 2016 13:27
North Korea fired a projectile from a multiple locket launcher last week which landed somewhere in Ryanggang Province after traveling some 200 km. If it had been aimed at South Korea, it could have landed in Seoul. The test launch came after a week of dire threats from the North to pulverize Cheong Wa Dae and proves that this would be well within its means.
Already the North has stationed more than 5,000 conventional artillery pieces along the demilitarized zone with a range of 70 km. The new artillery can hit any target in the Seoul metropolitan area. On top of that it is working very hard to miniaturize nuclear warheads so they can be fitted on a missile.
All of that means that the new artillery poses a grave threat to South Korea's security, to say nothing of its longer-range missiles, some of which Seoul's current defenses would have difficulty intercepting.
But politicians in this country do not seem to have the slightest interest in the question. Neither opposition nor ruling-party lawmakers have commented even once on the threat, and if they pitch any defense policies at all it is vote-winners like shortening the mandatory military service.
Of course there is nothing politicians can immediately do about North Korea's artillery. But they can at least try to find out if the military is ready to deal with the latest threat and size up the budget that might be needed to remedy any shortcomings.
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