Chun Young-woo, presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security, delivers a speech to the media at South Korea's presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 7, 2012. South Korea is now allowed to develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers, more than double the current limit, under a revised pact with the United States to better respond to percieved missile threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the presidential office here said Sunday. (Xinhua/Park Jin-hee)
SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Korea is now allowed to develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers, more than double the current limit, under a revised pact with the United States to better respond to percieved missile threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the presidential office here said Sunday.
The extended range can now cover all of the DPRK, South Korea's wartime enemy whose arsenal includes intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000 kilometers capable of striking the entire Korean peninsula as well as U.S. military installations in Japan and Guam.
The revised agreement with the United States, South Korea's ally, keeps the current payload limit unchanged at 500 kilometers, according to Chun Young-woo, the presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security.
South Korea had long called for a revision of the missile pact it signed with Washington in 1979, which stopped the country from developing ballistic missiles of longer ranges despite growing missile threats posed by its northern neighbor.
The extension, however, runs counter to a global arms control agreement known as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal and voluntary association of 34 countries with a goal of stopping the spread of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
As a member of the agreement, South Korea had opted to build slower, surface-skimming cruise missiles with a range of up to 1, 500 kilometers, which are not subject to the MTCR.
Seoul, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan said Friday talks with the United States over allowing Seoul to build ballistic missiles of longer range are in their final stages.
"The government is engaged in negotiations with a goal of enhancing our missile capability to deter North Korea (DPRK)'s missile threats," the minister told the parliament during its audit session. Full story
SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the United States are in talks over allowing Seoul to develop longer-range ballistic missiles capable of striking all of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a potential irritant in already tense cross-border relations.
The allies have been engaged in working-level discussions on revising their bilateral missile accord signed three decades ago, South Korean defense minister Kim Kwan-jin recently told parliament. Full story