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All North Korean missiles are within the intercept performance r...

“All North Korean missiles are within the intercept performance range of our defensive assets”


Highlights of Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo's comments in keynote speech at the 61st KIDA Defense Forum:

It is obvious we must view North Korea as an ‘enemy’ if it threatens and provokes usSouth Korea’s operational systems outweigh North Korea’s South Korean military will be ‘reborn as a new force’ based on transitional thinking 


Addressing the consecutive short-range ballistic missile launches by North Korea, Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo noted that “they are all within the intercept performance range of our defensive assets,” stressing that South Korea can react fully to them. In a keynote speech at the “61st Korea Institute of Defense Analyses (KIDA) Defense Forum,” hosted by KIDA at Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on July 31, when asked about countermeasures against the repeated missile launches early Wednesday morning, “South Korea’s operational systems are much superior (to North Korea’s),” Jeong said. “If this type of unexpected situation had happened some time ago, I might not be standing here now. But we react systematically, not only to the North’s missile launches but also to other potential threats,” Jeong said with confidence. “I have come here after confirming our good readiness posture during a short visit to the situation room this morning,” he added.  During his keynote speech on Wednesday, Minister Jeong gave a detailed explanation of the main defense policies, including establishing a strong defense posture, pushing forward the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative, implementing the Sept. 19 inter-Korean military agreement, preparing for the wartime operational control (OPCON) transfer, and innovating the barracks culture. “Our current military tasks will not reach a successful conclusion without the support of the people. As we address the current situation sternly, the military will make every effort to regain the trust of the people,” he said. “The South Korean military will be reborn as a “new force that is trusted by the people” on the basis of transitional thinking, which can lead the changing times,” he also emphasized. When it comes to the “concept of an enemy” in the changing security environment, Jeong stressed that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats are not the only things that threaten the security of South Korea, and that any party who threatens the security of South Korea should be viewed as an enemy based on a comprehensive concept of security. “North Korea’s regime and military are of course included in our concept of the enemy if they threaten and provoke us,” he explained. “The weakening of our military readiness posture or the South Korea-U.S. alliance will never happen,” Jeong said. “Our military protects the lives and the safety of the people with a stronger power, and will improve our capabilities to open up a new future,” he emphasized. Minister Jeong presented a blueprint for the present and the future of our military by using four phrases starting with the letter S – Strong force, Smart force, Scientific force, and Socially responsible force – and the acronym, “Cheong-Jeong-Guk-Bang,” for clean defense, honest and just defense, defense that honors the people and has the trust of the people and maintains high spirits, and defense that prepares for the future based on the establishment of a complete readiness posture. In the question and answer session, Minister Jeong showed our military’s watertight readiness posture and confidence in reacting to North Korea’s missile threats.  “South Korea’s military is much more advanced than the North’s missiles in terms of technical capability and quantity. We are supported by ground-to-ground, surface-to-ground, submarine-to-ground and air-to-ground ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles, while the North is showing off its ability to launch ballistic missiles and load some submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM),” Jeong said. Regarding the “pull-up” maneuver, known as a feature of the recent ballistic missiles launched by North Korea, “The pull-up maneuver was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) much earlier. We have a much higher level of precision than the North,” he said. He added that the ADD has retained even the solid fuel technology. “South Korea’s operational systems also outweigh the North’s. We have the ability to defend ourselves fully against the North’s missile threats, as projects such as military reconnaissance satellites are currently underway,” he emphasized. 


By Su-Yeol, Maeng <guns13@dema.mil.kr >

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All North Korean missiles are within the intercept performance range of our defensive assets
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