Defense chief says only strength can defend country from N.K. threats

Defense Minister Shin Won-sik called for firm military readiness on Tuesday, stressing that powerful strength is the only means to preserve peace in the face of North Korea’s evolving threats.

Shin made the remark during a meeting of top military commanders following the North’s bout of missile launches, trash-carrying balloon campaigns and GPS jamming attacks this year.

“Powerful strength is the only means to defend peace in the Republic of Korea from North Korea’s threats,” Shin said. “We must remember the historic lesson that retaliation based on powerful strength is deterrence, and deterrence itself is peace.”

“North Korea’s reckless act destructing peace will only lead to the regime’s destruction.”

North Korea has carried out a series of provocations against the South after leader Kim Jong-un called for revising its constitution to define South Korea as its “primary foe” and codify a commitment to subjugate the South Korean territory in the event of war.

In June, Kim held summit talks with Russian
President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang and signed a pact that calls for providing military assistance without delay if either comes under attack, the latest in their deepening military cooperation.

“By signing a new treaty with Russia, (North Korea) is threatening freedom and peace of not only the Republic of Korea but the international community,” Shin said.

Against such a backdrop, Shin called on all members of the armed forces to equip themselves with combat mentality and attitude and emphasized that powerful exercises are the way to deter the North’s provocations.

During the meeting, the participants discussed key defense goals for the second half of the year, such as beefing up the country’s intelligence and surveillance capabilities and strengthening security cooperation with the United States and Japan.

South Korea aims to put its third homegrown military spy satellite into orbit in November under a plan to acquire five spy satellites by 2025 to better monitor North Korea. The country successfully l
aunched its second military spy satellite in April.

As part of continued efforts to bolster trilateral security cooperation, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan held their first-ever three-day multidomain exercise Freedom Edge in late June.

Also discussed in the meeting was expanding arms exports as part of efforts to expand the country’s strategic defense capabilities, according to the ministry.

Source: Yonhap News Agency