Korea Eyes Army Missile Defense Command
(Source: Korea Overseas Information Service; issued July 16, 2006)
Korea plans to create an Army missile defense command later this year as part of its efforts to counter threats from North Korea’s missiles and long-range artillery, a government source said Sunday (July 16).

The move comes after the North launched seven missiles, one presumed to be a long-range one, over the East Sea on July 5, raising tension over regional and global security.

"In line with a military overhaul plan, the command will be established between September and October," the source said, asking not to be named.

"It will be based in the central part of the country and is expected to boost South Korea’s anti-artillery capabilities sharply," he said.

According to defense experts, North Korea operates one artillery corps and 30 brigades, having an edge over the South.

The source said the envisioned command will be in charge of leading South Korea’s artillery powers, including multiple-launch rocket systems and ground-to-ground missiles, known as the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

"The command will be headquartered in the central part of the country for both tactical and strategic reasons," he said, without elaborating.

Defying warnings from the United States and Japan, the North carried out the missile tests, prompting the international community to seek sanctions against the reclusive country.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution against North Korea Saturday, denouncing its missile launches and calling for the suspension of its ballistic missile program.

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