Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ain't no sunshine...

For all of those that still needed another proof that the sunshine policy is a relic of the past, here it comes: last Friday AFP reported that South Korea has decided to buy hundreds of cruise missiles. The ACLMs are intended to be fitted on 21 new F-15 fighter jets Seoul has agreed to buy from Boeing between 2010 and 2012. So far no decision about the type of missile and supplier has been made but reports indicated that some 400 Lockheed-Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, or other missiles of similar capacity which have a range of 400 km, would be purchased. They would enable Seoul to strike targets such as North Korea's nuclear sites and command posts.

The response from the northern neighbor came immediately: DPRK’s official news agency KCNA denounced South Korea's decision to buy the missiles as proof for its "preemptive attack" against the DPRK. It called the ROK’s behavior an "intolerable treacherous act of pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to a dangerous phase of war and wrecking peace."

It comes to no surprise that the two Koreas are not the only actors in the region that are involved in an arms build-up. Make sure to read the highly informative article by Andrei Chang on the four battalions of 200-kilometer-range S-300PMU2 surface-to-air missiles that will Russia deliver this summer to China. The author gives a detailed overview over the Chinese SAM positions.

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