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N Korea increases anti-aircraft missiles

07 March 2012, 10:01

Seoul - North Korea has increased the number of anti-aircraft missiles deployed near the capital in preparation for potential attacks by US and South Korean aircraft, a report said on Wednesday.

The number of SA-5 surface-to-air missiles with a maximum range of 300km sited near Pyongyang rose from two in 2000 to 40 in 2010, Yonhap news agency said, quoting a Seoul military source.

During the same period, the number of SA-3 missiles, which offer a short-range defence against low-flying aircraft, jumped to 140 from seven, it said.

The number of SA-2 missiles with a range of 48km increased to around 180 from 45 in 2000, Yonhap said, adding the North also had about 12 000 portable anti-aircraft missiles.

"In case of contingency, we could hit deep into the enemy territory only if we neutralise the North's surface-to-air missiles, radar systems and long-range rocket launchers," the source was quoted as saying.

"Our top priority is to introduce combat capabilities to secure command of the air."

The South's defence ministry declined to confirm the report.

The communist country has developed various types of missiles targeted at locations in South Korea as well as medium-range missiles capable of travelling more than 3 000km.

It has also test-fired intercontinental ballistic missiles, most recently in April 2009.




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