S.Korea Beefs Up Defense Against N.Korean Nukes

      June 24, 2009 08:54

      South Korean military authorities plan to introduce a defense system against an electromagnetic pulse wave unleashed by a nuclear explosion into major strategic facilities next year in case of a nuclear attack from North Korea.

      Military authorities will further beef up capabilities to respond to nuclear attack by reinforcing equipment for reconnaissance aircraft earlier than scheduled. The military will also introduce long-range, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as the U.S.-made Global Hawk ahead of schedule next year to strengthen monitoring of North Korean moves to launch a nuclear provocation.

      The military will spend W64 billion (US$1=W1,290) to buy GBU-28 "bunker buster" bombs by next year, four years earlier than the original target of 2014. The bombs are capable of penetrating up to 30 m into the earth, enabling them to strike North Korea's underground nuclear facilities or command posts.

      The Defense Ministry on Tuesday reported the plans to a session of a Grand National Party ad hoc committee, according to committee members.

      The ministry mooted a budget of W6 billion in the 2010 government budget for the anti-EMP defense system for major strategic facilities such as Cheong Wa Dae. It wants to allocate W8 billion in next year's budget for the purchase of Global Hawk high-altitude UAVs from next year. It previously planned to introduce them in 2011.

      And W10 billion is to pay for more Geumgang aerial video reconnaissance and Baekdu communications monitoring reconnaissance aircraft, some of which are already in operation. Some W269.5 billion is to be spent on ballistic missiles and an early-warning radar system; W84.1 billion on GPS-guided joint direct attack munitions (JDAM); and about W71.2 billion on GBU-24 laser-guided bombs.

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