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S. Korea deploys air-to-ground Taurus missiles for combat use

South Korea's Air Force on Thursday deployed air-to-ground Taurus-class missiles for combat use, which are capable of targeting and destroying North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities at a long distance, officials said.

The Taurus missile mounted on F-15K fighter planes can hit key facilities in Pyongyang from the sky over Daejeon, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, they said. The missile has a range of 500 kilometers.

The Air Force received the first shipment of the missiles from Germany's Taurus Systems GmbH in October with plans to sequentially take a total of 170 Taurus missiles by 2018.

The missile deployment is part of South Korea's efforts to build its pre-emptive missile destruction system, called "Kill Chain," to detect and strike North Korea's missile and nuclear targets.

The Taurus missile can fly at a low altitude without being detected from North Korea's radar as stealth technology is applied.

The global positioning systems also permits it to precisely hit targets despite the enemy's GPS-jamming move.

"The deployment will enable the Air Force to curb North Korea's provocations at peace time and strike the enemy's main targets precisely in the event of war," said Air Force Chief of Staff Jeong Kyeong-doo.

He said that South Korea's airmen will beef up their combat readiness and sternly respond to North Korea if it makes provocative acts. (Yonhap)