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Army confident of destroying N. Korea with ballistic missiles at war

South Korea's Army said Thursday it will be quick in totally destroying North Korea's front-line artillery systems in the event of a war on the peninsula.

In a report to the National Assembly, the Army presented a three-tier missile strike concept in the early stage of an armed conflict.

The weapon that will first be mobilized is a tactical surface-to-surface missile, called KTSSM and known as artillery killer.

"KTSSM-I will strike the enemy's tunnels with the 170-mm self-propelled howitzers and 240-mm multiple-rocket launch systems," it said during the regular parliamentary audit of the operation of the 490,000 troops.

South Korea`s Hyunmoo-II ballistic missile is fired during a recent training. (Yonhap)
South Korea`s Hyunmoo-II ballistic missile is fired during a recent training. (Yonhap)

Most of the North's artillery equipment, camouflaged and embedded, is deployed along the demilitarized zone and the coast of its border islands.

And KTSSM-II will be used to bomb SCUD missile facilities and 300-mm rocket launchers, it added.

The Army also plans to fire Hyunmoo-II ballistic missiles against the North's nuclear and other WMD systems and supporting units.

The South's indigenous Hyunmoo-class missiles have a range of up to 800km, while Hyunmoo-III is a longer-range cruise missile.

In order to take the North's leadership out, the Army is seeking to acquire more powerful ballistic missiles, tentatively named the Hyunmoo-IV.

Seoul has reached a de-facto deal with Washington to revise their missile development guidelines so that it can double the maximum payload of its ballistic missiles. Under a bilateral accord with the US revised in 2012, it can develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800km and a payload weight of up to 500kg.

As their presidents -- Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump - agreed in principle on the issue, the allies are in consultations on the details.

South Korea's armed forces are pushing for a broader "three-axis" defense platform against the North's threats and provocations -- the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system, the Korean Air and Missile Defense, and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation scheme. (Yonhap)