TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Seoul to extend range of missiles in deal with U.S.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Washington Post
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 7:32 p.m.
 

SEOUL — South Korea said on Sunday that it would nearly triple the range of its ballistic missiles, allowing it to strike all parts of North Korea and a sliver of China, under a new deal with the United States.

The bilateral agreement, after nearly two years of negotiations, frees Seoul to develop and use significantly more muscular missile technology at a time of steady concern about the belligerent North.

Conservatives here had bristled for years that Seoul was unable to even approach the North's ballistic missile range, but Washington and others in the region have long used weapons-limiting pacts to prevent an arms race.

Under the new deal, South Korea can extend the range of its ballistic missiles to 497 miles, up from the previous 186 miles. That means that the South can conceivably strike even the northernmost tip of North Korea, as well as parts of northeast China. The previous restrictions were part of the voluntary multi-nation Missile Technology Control Regime, which Seoul entered in 2001.

In addition, the deal allows greater load weights for South Korean unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones. Such vehicles are commonly used for surveillance but could be used in combat.

Security experts in Seoul say this deal takes a modest step to close the technology gap with the North, an authoritarian police state that devotes as much as one-quarter of its gross national product to the military. In recent years, the North has attempted to launch several satellites, which are attached to rockets that employ long-range missile technology.

The latest launch, in April, ended in failure, with the Unha-3 rocket breaking up after about 90 seconds of flight. But former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last year that the North could develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States by 2016.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Dissension cracks Taliban leadership
  2. Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
  3. WikiLeaks says U.S. spied on another ally: Japan
  4. Extremist strikes again in attack on gay parade in Jerusalem
  5. Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
  6. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea
  7. Nigeria celebrates year without polio
  8. Former Chilean officers charged
  9. Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS
  10. India hangs man who raised funds in support of 1993’s deadly Mumbai bombings