US is in discussions with South Korea on increasing the size of warheads on it ballistic missiles that could meet the challenges of North Korea's improved missile capability.
South Korea is focusing on increasing warhead payload, rather than expanding missile range. The raising of missile range would only invite strong opposition from China, Russia and Japan, various local media reported Tuesday.
It is believed a 1,000-kilogram or 1-ton warhead would be strong enough to destroy the underground bunker of the North Korean elite, facilities that are built with a special material tougher than concrete.
Missiles in South Korea's arsenal have limits on warhead size and range, but the United States supports expanding Seoul's defense capabilities, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said.
The present guidelines for South Korean missiles were established in October 2012, under the Obama administration. The measures allowed Seoul to develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 500 miles, up from 186 miles in the last agreement. The payload permitted was 500 kilograms.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently requested US President Donald Trump to grant permission for a payload of up to 1,000 kilograms.
Both the countries, however, will be addressing these issues directly at the annual ROK-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting, or SCM, in October.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-hwa met on Sunday during the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila and agreed to begin preliminary negotiations.
“The heavier payload could also increase missile engine power, which could subsequently increase the range of the projectile.” South Korean analyst Kim Dong-yup said.
Japan has hinted at raising defense capabiltiy, citing concern of increasing threat from North Korea and China in the country's defense review Tuesday. North Korea was cited as the main concern as Japan's Cabinet approved the 2017 Defence White Paper, two weeks after the North test-fired a second ICBM whose range could include some of the US mainland, including Los Angeles and Chicago
South Korean government has allowed electronics companies to join a weapons procurement project for the first time. South Korea plans to buy additional 90 air-to-ground Taurus-class missiles from Germany and have asked local technology firms to submit a list of products that they wish to sell to the German firm,
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has named Jeon Jei-guk as the new chief of Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in a move to cut down corruption. Former chief of DAPA, Chang Myoung-jin, resigned last month after coming under scrutiny for his earlier decision to deploy a locally developed utility helicopter despite its well-documented defects,
The UN Security Council resolution to block a third of North Koreas exports in the form of coal, mineral and manpower will dry up its main source of its foreign exchange and starve most of its labor-intensive industries. "Through the resolution, the Council (UN Security Council) had taken a strong and united step, increasing the penalty of that countrys ballistic missile activity to a whole new level
The United States has commenced modernizing its Patriot missile interceptors deployed in South Korea. The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade of the US Army has finalized an eight-month interceptors renovation program, as a result of which old systems were replaced and modern technologies were introduced,
North Korea is projected by the end of 2020 to have 25 to 60 nuclear weapons, a US think tanks report on Pyongyangs nuclear capabilities says. The “worst case” estimate of 60 nuclear weapons would involve the operation of the Experimental Light Water Reactor, David Albright, founder and president of
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