Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seoul warns of North's serious threat

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak

Source: Press TV

Seoul's Defense Ministry says North Korea has boosted its special forces and deployed huge artillery guns and a new kind of tank close to the heavily fortified border.

“Threats from North Korea's asymmetric warfare capabilities - such as special forces, artillery pieces and weapons of mass destruction - have been on a steady rise since 2008,” South Korea's Deputy Defense Minister Chang Kwang Il was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

The biennial report by the ministry signals that the North's military threat has expanded as it has an unspecified number of new powerful tanks prowling the border with the South.

Nearly 13,600 long-range artillery guns have been deployed along the Demilitarized Zone and are reportedly ready to launch attacks on Seoul, the report noted.

With a population of more than 10 million, Seoul is 30 kilometers away from the border.

According to the report, the North has also added 20,000 soldiers to its 18,000 special forces over the past two years.

Seoul claims the contingent of 200,000 special forces are trained to infiltrate into the South to carry out assassinations and disrupt sensitive facilities.

The report further added that the North intends to rely on its nuclear program as a counterweight to South Korea's high-tech military.

The news comes at a time tension is high between the two neighbors following an artillery fire exchange which left four Southerners dead last month.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's administration scrambles to respond to criticism that it was unprepared for a November 23 North Korean artillery attack

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