News / Asia

S. Korea Parades Cruise Missiles, Military Hardware to Deter Pyongyang

South Korean Hyunmu-3 cruise missiles are displayed during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of Armed Forces Day, Oct. 1, 2013.
South Korean Hyunmu-3 cruise missiles are displayed during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of Armed Forces Day, Oct. 1, 2013.
Daniel Schearf
South Korea held a massive military parade on Tuesday; mainly to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of its armed forces, but also to deter provocations from North Korea.  The show of strength comes as top U.S. defense officials visit the South Korean capital, Seoul, for talks on security and the military defense of South Korea. 
 
During the parade, South Korea publicly displayed for the first time locally-developed cruise missiles capable of precision strikes in North Korea: the Hyunmu-2, with a range of 500 kilometers, and the Hyunmu-3, with a range of 1,000 kilometers.
 
The parade ran through the South Korean capital for several hours and included thousands of soldiers, military vehicles and tanks.
 
In a live broadcast, jets performed aerial acrobatics for the audience of dignitaries and commanders at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, just south of the capital.
 
Visitors included U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 
South Korea's Defense Ministry said the display of military might was the largest in a decade.
 
South Korean President Park Geun-hye made clear the show was also meant for those watching in Pyongyang.  Speaking at the opening ceremony, she vowed to strengthen defense capabilities to warn off threats from North Korea. 
 
Park says South Korea must establish a strong deterrent against North Korea until it gives up its nuclear programs and makes the right choices for its people and peace on the Korean peninsula.
 
  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye waves as she inspects troops with Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin during the 65th anniversary of the founding of South Korea's Armed Forces, Seongnam, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Members of the Special Warfare Command demonstrate the traditional Korean martial art of taekwondo during celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of Korea Armed Forces Day, Seongnam, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Members of the Special Warfare Command are suspended from army helicopters during a celebration marking the 65th anniversary of Korea Armed Forces Day, Seongnam, Seoul, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • The South Korean Air Force's aerobatic team, the Black Eagles, performs during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of Armed Forces Day at the Seoul military airport, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Heavy armored vehicles parade on a street with Sungnyemun Gate in the background during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the Armed Forces Day in Seoul, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Cadets from the Korea Naval Academy receive garlands from Miss Korea during a parade to mark the 65th anniversary of Korea Armed Forces Day, Seoul, Oct. 1, 2013.

In February, North Korea defied the international community by testing its third nuclear device.  Pyongyang also threatened preemptive strikes against Seoul and Washington.
 
Tensions later cooled, but recent satellite photos indicate North Korea has expanded its uranium facilities, restarted a plutonium reactor, and began testing a long-range rocket engine.
 
Pyongyang claims its rockets are for peaceful satellite launches, but they are widely believed to be cover for developing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
 
President Park described the security situation on the Korean Peninsula as “very grave,” but said the value of the military lies not in making war but in preventing it.
  
She said South Korea will make North Korea realize that the nuclear power and missiles it clings to are useless.  They will do so, she says, by maintaining the South Korea - U.S. joint defense system and developing response capabilities, such as the Korea Air and Missile Defense System (KAMD) against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
 
President Park and the visiting U.S. defense officials marked the 60th anniversary of their military alliance this week. The two sides' military officials also discussed cooperation, capabilities and the threat from North Korea.
 
The United States led U.N. troops in 1950 to repel a North Korean invasion that sparked the Korean War.
 
The fighting ended in an armistice but, to prevent further aggression, 28,000 U.S. troops still remain in South Korea and Washington holds war-time control over its 600,000 soldiers. 
 
Washington says South Korea's capabilities have advanced enough to take back that responsibility, but Seoul wants the 2015 transfer deadline to be extended for a second time due to the continuing threat from North Korea.
 
VOA Seoul Bureau producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More