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Why is South Korea’s missile range limited?

 
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ajosshi



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: ajosshi.com

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:37 am    Post subject: Why is South Korea’s missile range limited? Reply with quote

Why is South Korea’s missile range limited?

Missile range limits to South Korea need to be revised as soon as possible. North Korea has constantly developed its missile capabilities by extending its range, while South Korea has been prevented from catching up with its rival.

The Pyongyang regime launched a long-range missile, the Kwangmyongsong-3, in April, but failed as it crashed into the West Sea a few minutes after liftoff. Though Pyongyang said it meant to put a satellite into orbit, it broke the U.S-North Korea agreement that it would not further test missile technology and continue its uranium enrichment programs.

Why has South Korea failed to extend the range for its missiles? Is it due to the lack of its efforts? Or does it result from the backwardness of Korea’s missile technology? Or is Korea intentionally ignorant of its necessity? All these questions require closer reexamination.

The worsening situation in Northeast Asia compels both Korea and the U.S. to closely look into the issue. Despite hopes for peace, the region’s security environment has recently deteriorated and become more militarized. China continues to push forward with the modernization of its army, air and naval capabilities, claiming that there are no longer open waters in the South China Sea.

The country has secured denial capabilities to the U.S. naval and air forces. It appears to have increased the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in its size and activities, gradually heading toward military cooperation in the region.

Japan has officially declared it would revise its peace constitution that stipulates that it will give up war permanently along with its national armed forces. It seeks to change Article 9, which renounces the right of belligerency.

North Korea has become more belligerent by declaring “no sail zones” near its disputed sea border with the South, following its sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeongdo in the West Sea. All this means Seoul and Washington must revise the Missile Technology Control Regime they forged in 2001.

South Korea’s failure to extend its missile range is due to the MTCR rather than a lack of willingness. Under the MTCR, the country is banned from developing ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers, which is not sufficient to effectively deter Pyongyang’s middle and long-range missile threats.

Early last year, South Korea and the U.S. agreed to develop a missile with a 500 kilometer range, mainly to avoid irritating China and Japan. A local diplomatic source said later that the two countries appeared to be reaching an agreement toward Korea’s 800 kilometer range proposal, but Washington suddenly put it aside on fears that the new accord would put parts of China and Russia within reach.

This is unacceptable. It means the U.S. does not respect South Korea’s missile sovereignty. It also means that the U.S. does not pay attention to the difference in ranges between Seoul and Pyongyang, which make Seoul’s defense and security vulnerable.

Pyongyang is already equipped with the Scud and Rodong missiles capable of striking anywhere in the South and some areas of Japan. The Kwangmyongsung-3 is known to have a 6,700 kilometer range, with which Pyongyang is able to hit across the ocean in Hawaii, Alaska and the mainland U.S.

Recently, Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review said that the North will achieve the necessary technology to mount a nuclear warhead onto a ballistic missile within a decade, despite its launch failure in April.

South Korea makes cruise missiles with a 1,500km range. But they are so slow in flight speed that it can easily become a target of anti-missile attacks from North Korea. Moreover, the warheads they can carry are so lightweight that they cannot have sufficient impact. That could make Seoul unable to effectively counter North Korea’s long-range missiles deployed in Musudan-ri and on its borders with China.

Pyongyang will even be able to mount biological and chemical bombs on its missiles when it completes the miniaturization process. All these would lead to a bigger asymmetric strategic balance between the two Koreas. The continued asymmetry is likely to intensify tension across the peninsula. Such a security situation may induce the North’s military to launch a preemptive strike on the South, effectively starting another Korean War.

Today, the South Korean military is equipped with only two ballistic missiles ― Hyunmoo-I and II. The former has only a 180 km range capable of reaching the North Korean capital and the latter has a 300 km range able to reach Sinuiju. Our military cannot target any objects deployed in these areas when it fires ballistic missiles from the southern part of the country. We should lift the 300 km restriction, which has hindered Seoul’s deterrent capabilities over the past 11 years. The government has to push for talks with the U.S. to extend the range and narrow the gap with Pyongyang.

The South should be allowed to produce missiles with a range of at least 1,500 kilometers to be able to strike anywhere in the North from Jeju Island. The rearrangement alone will enable Seoul to strengthen its security capability.

By Heo Mane

The writer is professor emeritus at Pusan National University and president of the Korea-EU Forum. ― Ed.

http://view.koreaherald.com/kh/view.php?ud=20120822000817&cpv=0
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly Russia China and Japan would not be very happy if South Korea had longer range missles. South Korea is in a very strategic location as it could control the sealanes in the area very easily. I think the fear is that a arms race might start in North Asia. This is a tricky area, trying to balance South Korea's interest with China's, Japans's and Russia. Perhaps there is a gentlemen's agreement among the nation involved. You have posed an interesting question, why does South Korea limit itself in this way. I am only giving possible reasons.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South Korea only needs to blow away North Korea. The US will take care of China and Russia.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

young_clinton wrote:
The US will take care of China and Russia.

Do you mean defeating said countries and occupying them under US terms? If so, look at the last 50 years of US history of trying to defeat and unconditionally occupying countries they have gone to war with, it's pretty dismal.
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ajosshi



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: ajosshi.com

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russian nuclear attack sub reported prowling in Gulf of Mexico recently

Citing an unnamed U.S. official, a Russian nuclear powered submarine armed with long range cruise missiles “sailed undetected” into the Gulf of Mexico, prowling along the coastline.

The Russian “incursion” took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July 2012.

On the West Coast of the United States, a Russian Blackjack strategic bomber skirted U.S. airspace near California and was met by U.S. interceptor jets, according to reports.

See article: Russians Fly Strategic Bombing Runs and Sub Penetration Against U.S.

In a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert on Friday, Senator John Cornyn (Republican, Texas) demanded "a detailed explanation of the facts" surrounding the incident, according to Pravda.

The submarine, Akula class, has the capability of sinking U.S. nuclear submarines or aircraft carriers and if necessary conducting a nuclear missile strike against American defenses.

"The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: To kill U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews," said a second U.S. official.

The submarine is distinctive for its large tail fin. The name Akula (Акула meaning "shark" in Russian) is the Soviet designation of the ballistic missile submarine class designated by NATO as the Typhoon class submarine...

They are equipped with the SSN-21 and SSN-27 submarine-launched cruise missiles, as well as SSN-15 anti-submarine-warfare missiles. The SSN-21 has a range of up to 1,860 miles.

It is also armed with 4 × 533mm torpedo tubes (28 torpedoes) and 4 × 650mm torpedo tubes (12 torpedoes) (K-152 Nerpa has 8 × 533mm torpedo tubes) 40 torpedoes total. 1–3 × SA-N-10 Igla-M Surface-to-air missile launcher fired from sail (surface use only).

The submarine is also can laying deadly sea mines, according to Russian reports (see article: Russian submarine sailed incognito along the coast of the U.S.

According to source the presence of the Russian submarine off the American coast was confirmed only after the ship had already left the region.

"It's a silent submarine, able to approach undetected," the official said.

The Akula-class attack submarine is one of Russia's quietest submarines.

The U.S. Navy refused to comment on this report.

http://www.examiner.com/article/russian-nuclear-attack-sub-reported-prowling-gulf-of-mexico-recently
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a load of yawn. The US is holding joint naval exercises with Norway and...Russia! right now.

AS for S.Korea's missiles, who cares? Unnecessary Ministry of Defense money pit program (under the current diplomatic, political, and military situation).
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ajosshi



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: ajosshi.com

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the Russian sub lurking around in the Gulf of Mexico was not part of the joint exercises.

As for Korea, they need to dig their wells before they are thirsty.
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goreality



Joined: 09 Jul 2009

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The military just wants more money like usual. A foreign nation or nations seeking to Limit Korea's missile range is an insult to Korea's sovereignty and national pride. Korea should have a right to engage in an arms race and further escalate tensions in north east Asia if they wish. Lol they even use the term missile sovereignty. Perhaps America is doing them a favor by suggesting they keep China and Russia out of range. Those big boys aren't exactly allies of the south.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajosshi wrote:
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the Russian sub lurking around in the Gulf of Mexico was not part of the joint exercises.

As for Korea, they need to dig their wells before they are thirsty.


Russian subs have been floating around the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajosshi wrote:

As for Korea, they need to dig their wells before they are thirsty.


Korea appears to be starting to do pretty well. They just had thier credit rating upgraded by Moody.
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