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N. Korean Artillery Poses Threat to Seoul Metropolitan Area

N. Korean Artillery Poses Threat to Seoul Metropolitan Area

Posted October. 05, 2004 21:45,   


General Kim Jong-hwan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday at the National Assembly inspection of the Ministry of Defense, that the over 1,000 artillery pieces that North Korea possesses is a serious threat to the Seoul metropolitan area.

When asked by Rep. Im Jong-in of the ruling Uri Party on how dangerous the artillery could be, General Kim responded that it would be highly effective at the beginning of a war.

Im raised a question over the power of North Korea’s 240mm rocket launchers. Im said that since rocket launchers were designed to kill men and animals, damage could be minimized if evacuation measures were effectively carried out. In response, General Kim said that even if the rockets are unable to penetrate concrete walls, huge damage is expected on residential buildings in the Seoul metropolitan area.

Im also asked if China will send military forces to support North Korea in the event of a war between North and South Korea, and General Kim replied that China is expected to provide limited military assistance to North Korea according to the provisions of a treaty signed by North Korea and China in 1961. Some expect that China would send about 400,000 soldiers, 800 airplanes, and 150 military ships to help North Korea.

Concerning the statement made by Grand National Party legislator Park Jin on Monday that Seoul would fall within 16 days if the South is defended by Korean military forces only, General Kim refuted this by saying that the allied forces of Korea and the U.S. are doing well in preventing the outbreak of wars.

General Kim also said that a plan to increase the number of U.S. soldiers is definitely included in the appendix of Operation Plan 5027-04, and that a detailed schedule is being designed by the U.S. Park, on the other hand, insisted that the plan to increase the number of U.S. soldiers had been left out of Operation Plan 5027-04.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com