S. Korea Shows Off Missiles in Display Aimed at Deterring North

Global Security Newswire Staff

South Korea on Tuesday showed off its new cruise missile along with other high-tech weaponry at a large armed-forces parade aimed at deterring North Korea from acting on provocations, Reuters reported.

On display for the first time was the South's precision Hyunmu 3 cruise missile, which can travel as far 620 miles, as well as thee Hyunmu 2 ballistic missile, which has a range of 185 miles. The two domestically developed missiles have already been fielded.

The Hyunmu 3 can hit targets anywhere in North Korea. Seoul and Washington in 2012 reached agreement on a new defense pact that permits the South to domestically produce ballistic missiles with top traveling distances approaching 500 miles.

"We must build a strong anti-North deterrence until the day the North drops its nuclear arms and makes the right choice for its people and for peace on the Korean Peninsula," South Korean President Park Geun-hye said at the military pageant, held at an airport located south of Seoul.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was on hand to view the parade.

While North Korea routinely stages military parades, South Korea traditionally abstains from flaunting its military might in such a way. Tuesday's parade was the biggest the South has held in a decade and involved 120 aircraft, 190 weapon systems and 11,000 military personnel, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s a kind of show of force," Sejong Institute security analyst Lee Daewoo said in an interview. "North Korea shows off its missiles on national anniversaries. We can understand today’s ceremony in the same vein."

South Korea "is clearly showing that it has the capability to punish" North Korea, he added.