Kim: South Capable of Stopping Nuke Drop

Mok Yong Jae  |  2013-04-05 03:55
Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan Jin has declared South Korea to be well prepared to defend itself against North Korean bombers, which he believes to be Pyongyang’s only option in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack.

Kim, speaking at a meeting of the National Assembly National Defense Committee, explained, “[In the event that North Korea were to use a nuclear weapon] at their current level only airdropping it from a bomber would be realistic," but, "If a North Korean bomber were to come across [the inter-Korean border] then shooting it down or intercepting it would be possible.”

He added, “Just like other nuclear weapons states, if North Korea has developed nuclear weapons then they are only be for deterrence or use as a last resort. We do not have information about the possible miniaturization of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, but we have prepared in case they have done so.”

Meanwhile, on another hot topic, the transportation of a long-range missile toward the east coast of the Korean Peninsula that the Japanese daily newspaper Asahi had said could be a new ’KN-08’ capable of hitting the United States, Kim said that his military is watching carefully, but declared that it is not one of the new missiles.

“It is not a KN-08, but it is one that can go a considerable distance,” he said. “However, it is not able to reach the U.S. mainland, and will have two purposes, one being a demonstration and the other being training.”

Kim also commented on the South Korean military’s current readiness posture, which reflects its belief about the likelihood of the current situation turning to war, saying that the military is maintaining a status whereby there is "no possibility of military conflict but there is confrontation with the enemy."

As Kim pointed out, war takes time to prepare for, and North Korea is not preparing for war despite its increasingly loud and bellicose rhetoric.

However, “If North Korea provokes us then will immediately and powerfully respond," he said, adding, "Since its third nuclear test North Korea has been fostering an atmosphere of war through rhetorical threats and displays of military strength; therefore, only a really strong military readiness status can deter the enemy’s provocations.”
 
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