SKorea to have longer-range missiles under US pactThe Associated Press | October 08,2012SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea will be able to possess longer-range missiles capable of hitting all of North Korea under a new agreement with the United States that is likely to draw an angry response from the North.
Under a previous 2001 accord with Washington, South Korea had been barred from deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 186 miles and a payload of more than 1,100 pounds because of concerns about a regional arms race.
The restriction has made South Korea’s missile capability inferior to that of rival North Korea, and some key military installations in the North have been out of South Korea’s missile range.
South Korea announced Sunday that the U.S. accord has been altered to allow the South to have ballistic missiles with a range of up to 500 miles to better cope with North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
“The most important objective for our government in revising the missile guideline is to contain North Korea’s armed provocation,” senior presidential official Chun Yung-woo told a news conference.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that it will greatly increase its missile capability under the new accord, adding that South Korea will be able to “strike all of North Korea, even from southern areas.”
President Barack Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney, speaking to reporters traveling with Obama to California on Sunday, said “The revisions are of prudent, proportional and specific response” to North Korea). He said they came out of ongoing regular consultations with South Korea on the threat from the North.
The deal also will allow South Korea to operate drone aircraft carrying payloads of up to 2,500 kilograms (5,510 pounds) with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). It places no restriction on payloads for drones with a flying distance of less than 300 kilometers, officials said.
South Korea can also possess cruise missiles with an unlimited range as long as their payload is less than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds). Media reports say the South has deployed cruise missiles with a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) but defense officials have refused to confirm that.
Cruise missiles fly at a lower altitude and slower speed than ballistic missiles, making them easier to intercept, although they are considered more accurate.
North Korean state media didn’t immediately respond to the announcement, but analysts expected they would issue a harsh statement.MORE IN Wire NewsROTHERHAM, England — Rotherham is a working-class town that is remarkable in its ordinariness — a... Full StoryBEIRUT — The mother of a hostage American journalist pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Scientists call for more research on the temporal and lasting effects of nuclear fallout on plants and animals in proximity to Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station where changes at the molecular level were found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 410 CE, Visigoths sack Rome and it isn't the first time, either; in 1859, Titusville, Pa., the first commercially viable oil well comes in; in 1918, the only World War I battle fought on U.S. soil in Nogales, Ariz.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Archaelogists uncover artifacts proving that late neolithic Egyptians, pre-dating the Pyramids of Giza, practiced mummification to prepare their dead for the afterlife, far earlier than presupposed.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE:Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing that pollute ground water and the air we breathe come under scrutiny by researchers who find at least eight fracking chemicals toxic to mammals.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: The craze for Omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement in its most popular form, fish oil, has led to depletion of fish stocks in oceans throughout the world. Is this the beginning of the total collapse of global fisheries?
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Suspects arrested in Killington bear death, Bryanna Allen and Kevin O'Connor report along the Back to School front, Rutland Plywood site remains an active fire scene as debris continues to smolder.