South Korea To Field National Antimissile System by 2015

The South Korean Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it anticipates finishing work no later than 2015 on a national system that would be intended to defend against potential short- and medium-range missile attacks from the North, the Yonhap News Agency reported (see GSN, March 24).

Seoul has said it would not participate in multinational missile defense efforts led by the United States. Instead, the South since 2006 has developed its own shield through procurement of Patriot missile interceptors and long-range radar technology.

"By 2015, the military will complete building the [Korea Air and Missile Defense] system to shoot down the enemy's ballistic missiles," according to a Defense Ministry report to the South Korean parliament.

The KAMD system is intended to give the South Korean armed forces the ability to monitor and eliminate cruise and ballistic missiles fired from North Korea. The system would employ Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptors and warships carrying Aegis defense technology.

Pyongyang has a missile force that includes hundreds of short-range Scud missiles that can travel 311 miles, Yonhap reported. North Korea has also fielded Rodong missiles that can travel as far as 808 miles. Long-range Taepodong 2 missiles have been tested in recent years with varying success. The last Taepodong 2 missile to be launched in 2009 traveled nearly 2,000 miles before splashing into the Pacific (Yonhap News Agency, April 12).

April 12, 2011
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The South Korean Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it anticipates finishing work no later than 2015 on a national system that would be intended to defend against potential short- and medium-range missile attacks from the North, the Yonhap News Agency reported (see GSN, March 24).

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