SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s military showcased several high-tech weapons on the occasion of Armed Forces Day on Saturday, following North Korea’s recent missile test firings.
The Ministry of Defense held an official ceremony marking the anniversary at the Gyeryongdae compound, 160 km south of Seoul, under the theme “strong defence, robust army based on science and technology.”
This theme resonated throughout the annual event which began hours after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the fourth such provocation in less than one week.
President Yoon Suk-yeol, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and top commanders of all armed forces, as well as soldiers and war veterans, attended the event.
Also present were elite forces at the forefront of the Yoon administration’s Defense Reform 4.0 initiative, designed to make the military stronger and smarter through cutting-edge technologies, such as ‘artificial intelligence.
The mobilized weapon systems highlighted Seoul’s efforts to bolster its three-axis system to counter nuclear and missile threats from Pyongyang.
The three-axis system consists of the Kill Chain preemptive strike platform, the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) program, an operational plan to neutralize the North Korean regime in the event of a major conflict, and the Korea Air and Air system. Missile Defense (KAMD).
To demonstrate the capabilities of the Kill Chain, the military mobilized 230mm Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, and Hyunmoo-II and III missiles.
KAMD equipment on display included anti-artillery radar systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 interceptor systems, among others. K2 battle tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers and amphibious assault vehicles were also visible.
In the air, a team of dozens of South Korean and American soldiers staged a low-altitude parachute jump.
The South Korean army also presented F-35A stealth fighters, F-15K, KF-16 and FA-50 jets, KC-330 tanker transport aircraft and various helicopters, such as Apaches, Surions and the Chinooks.
US Forces in South Korea displayed warplanes including the A-10 “tank killer” and F-16 fighters.
The Black Eagles Air Force Patrol then gave an air show.
The show of military power comes as Seoul strives to strengthen deterrence in cooperation with the United States, in order to deal with continued provocations from North Korea.