President Park Geun-hye's nominee for defense minister pledged Sunday to establish the country's indigenous missile defense system at an early date to counter escalating threats from North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles.
South Korea has been speeding up the establishment of the indigenous Korea Air and Missile Defense aimed at low-flying missiles coming from North Korea. A pre-emptive missile destruction system, the so-called Kill Chain, is also under development to detect and strike North Korea's missile and nuclear facilities.
"The defense ministry will push for an early establishment of the KAMD and the Kill Chain amid growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats," Han Min-koo said at a parliamentary confirmation hearing.
Han said he will try to make North Korea realize that Pyongyang will never get any concessions through military provocations and threats.
"I will do my best to ensure watertight military preparedness against a full-scale provocation from North Korea as well as any localized conflicts," he said.
On June 1, Park tapped Han, a career soldier and former chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to succeed Kim Kwan-jin, who was picked to be her national security adviser.
Kim was named to replace Kim Jang-soo, who resigned from his post last month in the wake of his controversial remarks on April's deadly ferry sinking. Kim is currently serving both posts until Han's nomination is approved by parliament. (Yonhap)