Yoon calls for strengthening surveillance, reconnaissance against North Korea

Bomi Yoon

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during the third meeting of the presidential defense innovation committee at the presidential office in Seoul, Wednesday. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during the third meeting of the presidential defense innovation committee at the presidential office in Seoul, Wednesday. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol called Wednesday for strengthening surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to deal better with North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

Yoon made the remark as he presided over a meeting of the presidential defense innovation committee, noting the North’s recent launches of a spy satellite and an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“North Korea’s provocations will continue according to their timetable, so we must always have a full readiness posture,” he said during the meeting at the presidential office, which was attended by Defense Minister Shin Won-sik, top military leaders and civilian committee members, including former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.

“During this third innovation committee meeting, I ask you to discuss ways to dramatically strengthen our military’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, which are meant to prepare against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” he said.

South Korea has been stepping up its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to better counter North Korea’s evolving nuclear program.

Early this month, South Korea successfully launched its first spy satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, before successfully conducting its third test flight of a solid-fuel space rocket.

“We must share with the United States our surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, which will strengthen in the future, and use the real-time missile warning data sharing system between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to effectively deter North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile threats,” Yoon said.

Yoon also called for measures to drastically shorten procedures for procuring weapons and other military hardware, saying the application of standard government procedures, which seek to ensure fairness and prevent corruption, will only lead to the deployment of outdated weapons.

“This is not only a waste of finances but security incompetence,” he said.

During the meeting, the defense ministry reported plans to diversify weapons procurement methods and integrate overlapping verification and analysis steps in current procurement procedures, according to the presidential office.

Under the plan, the government expects to halve the average time required for weapons procurement from 14 years to seven years, it said. (Yonhap)

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