By Yoo Seungki
SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Tuesday showed off its latest military hardware, including a mid-range missile targeting the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in a parade of the largest scale in 10 years to celebrate the establishment of the country's armed forces.
The parade to observe the 65th Armed Forces Day featured homemade missiles capable of striking the DPRK. The Hyunmoo2 and Hyunmoo3, developed with an indigenous technology, were first unveiled to the public in the parade.
The Hyunmoo2 with a range of 300 kilometers was designed to strike the DPRK's core military facilities in time of war. The long-range cruise missile Hyunmoo3 with a range of as many as 1, 500 kilometers was believed to reach all parts of the DPRK territory as well as the Northeast Asian nations. "Until North Korea (DPRK) put down its nuclear program and makes the right choice for the North Korean people and peace on the Korean peninsula, we should build strong deterrence towards the North," Park said in a speech at the ceremony held in Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
Park said the government should preemptively secure anti- weapons capabilities such as the kill chain system and the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), while maintaining the robust U.S.- South Korea joint defense program. It would make the DPRK leadership recognize that its missiles and nuclear weapons will be useless, Park stressed.
Seoul planned to spend almost 1 trillion won (930 million U.S. dollars) next year on the kill chain system, which preemptively detects and intercepts missile and nuclear threats from the DPRK. Around 120 billion won of budget was assigned to the anti-missile defense system, including a purchase of PAC-2 missiles and an upgrade to the PAC-3 system.
This year's ceremony was attended by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Pentagon chief arrived in Seoul Sunday to participate in the military talks with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin.
Seoul's Defense Ministry said in a statement that it mobilized some 11,000 soldiers along with 190 ground forces equipments and 120 aircrafts to stage the military parade, the largest scale since 2003.
A group of paratroopers demonstrated their parachute-landing fall, and special forces showed the demonstration of breaking marble bricks and pine boards. Fleets of aircrafts screamed overhead, and aerobatic team Black Eagle showed an air show.
A series of homemade torpedoes were displayed in the parade. Those included submarine-to-ship, warship-to-submarine and submarine-to-submarine as well as ship-to-ground and ship-to-air missiles.
Also on display were Spike missiles with a range of about 20 km, which were deployed in the disputed western sea border to strike the DPRK's coastal artillery units. Tensions escalated near the sea demarcation line in 2010 following the DPRK's deadly shelling of South Korea's border island of Yeonpyeong.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry staged the first military parade in five years through the center of the capital Seoul. Shown on the street were 105 armed vehicles of 37 kinds, including tanks and armored cars. Mobile launchers carrying various missiles rumbled, and some 4,500 soldiers walked down the street.