South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo says his country’s military buildup will be focused on countering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK’s, nuclear devices and ballistic missiles.
Mr Han told a forum, that “a paradigm shift in military buildup would be made in a way to puts top priority on securing military power to counter the DPRK’s “asymmetric threats” such as nuclear weapons and missiles.
The defense chief said there was recognition among the general public that the military depended on the United States for national defense as it had no proper military armaments to respond to the DPRK’s threats.
He said there was also recognition that South Korea has spent much more in national defense than the DPRK but failed to properly respond to the DPRK’s threats, noting that distrust was widespread in the military buildup.
As of 2013, the DPRK’s defense budget reached ten billion U.S. dollars, nearly one third of South Korea’s defense costs, the Minister’s estimate.
Mr Han said “the military would reinforce the Kill Chain system foremost and continue to beef up the Korea Air and Missile Defense, KAMD, system, noting that military armaments for conventional warfare would be gradually strengthened”.
Seoul plans to operate the programs from the mid-2020s.
The defense chief said “South Korea also plans to develop and secure its own “asymmetric military power” in preparations for the condition-based transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean forces from Washington back to Seoul, which is scheduled for the mid-2020s”.