August 22, 2019
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Seoul to acquire anti-missile radars, interceptors to counter Pyongyang

 People watch breaking news reports of North Korea's missile launch at Seoul Station in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/JEON HEON-KYUN

People watch breaking news reports of North Korea's missile launch at Seoul Station in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/JEON HEON-KYUN

Seoul, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- South Korea plans to acquire two more anti-missile radars and three Aegis interceptor-equipped destroyers in the next five years to counter North Korea, the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.

The project is one of the key projects of the five-year defense plan for 2020-2024, which was presented this Wednesday by the South Korean government at a time of growing concern over North Korea's weapons capabilities following a series of missile test launches.

The plan calls for an increase of expenditure by 7.1 percent, of which one third will be used for improving Seoul's defense capabilities, according to details reported by Yonhap news agency.

As well as the destroyers and the addition of two radars to widen its own missile detection system, Seoul also wants to develop its anti-missile capabilities through the deployment of an improved version of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 interceptor system and Cheolmae-II missiles.

The South also seeks to boost the development of non-lethal weapons including electromagnetic pulse bombs to neutralize Pyongyang's electrical system.

With the objective of improving its reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, the plan also includes the launch of five defense satellites and multiple drones of mid- and high-altitude in the next five years, according to Yonhap.

Seoul also plans to develop a its own arsenal ships equipped with launching systems capable of firing Standard Missile-3 (SM-3).

North Korea resumed its weapons testing in May after a gap of 17 months and in the last three weeks has test launched short-range missiles in protest against joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, which it considered a threat.

The tests come at a time when dialog with the US is stalled. EFE

co-mra/sk/tw

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