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ROK stresses need to increase defense budget against DPRK's nuke program

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-24 17:03

SEOUL - The president of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Park Geun-hye on Monday stressed the urgency to increase the country's defense budget in response to fast-advancing nuclear capability of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Park said in her parliamentary speech for the 2017 budget plan that Pyongyang is about to enter a phase of nuclear weapons beyond the phase of nuclear device test by conducting three atomic bomb tests since top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011.

To respond to the DPRK's nuclear and missile threats, Park said the government will make all-out efforts to secure core defense capabilities such as the Kill Chain, the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) systems.

Tensions mounted on the Korean peninsula after the DPRK's fifth nuclear detonation on Sept 9 when the country's state media reported the successful test of a nuclear warhead that can fit on ballistic missiles.

Pyongyang claimed to have succeeded in standardizing a nuclear warhead beyond the miniaturized warhead, indicating its massive production of nuclear warheads for various types of its ballistic missiles.

The ROK government and the ruling party agreed last week to speed up the development of the three missile defense and preemptive strike systems by aiming to bring forward their introduction to the early 2020s from the previous goal of the mid-2020s.

The KAMD is a project to develop its indigenous missile defense system to shoot down incoming DPRK missiles at multiple layers. The project includes the development of interceptors, including medium-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM) and long-range surface-to-air missiles (L-SAM) that can intercept missiles at an altitude of less than 100 km.

The Kill Chain project aims to preemptively strike the DPRK's missile launch sites when signs of first strike are detected. The KMPR is a system to preemptively strike the DPRK's leadership and headquarters with massive missile attacks when Pyongyang's first strike signs are spotted.

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