South Korea unveils military reforms after attacks

By REUTERS
March 8, 2011 12:51

 
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SEOUL - South Korea unveiled a series of military reforms on Tuesday, including fast-tracking the purchase of fighter jets and spy planes, in response to two deadly attacks on the peninsula last year.

President Lee Myung-bak said reforming the military was not a matter of choice but a must after last year's incidents, according to a presidential spokesman.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Seoul would purchase high-altitude spy drones and stealth fighter jets and deploy them earlier than planned to strengthen deterrence against the North. Local media said they were initially scheduled for deployment in 2015.

"The aim is to proactively deter current threats posed by the enemy rather than cope with potential threats in the future," Kim told a news conference in Seoul.

The military will also purchase advanced artillery-detecting radar systems and precision-guided weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to neutralize the North's artillery pieces hidden in mountain caves, the ministry said.

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