Tuesday November 24th, 2015 5:11PM

US to allow SKorea to have longer-range missiles

By The Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea - The United States has agreed to allow South Korea to possess longer-range missiles that could strike all of North Korea, officials said Sunday, a development expected to draw an angry response from the North.<br /> <br /> Under a 2001 accord with Washington, South Korea has been barred from developing and deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a payload of more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) because of concerns about a regional arms race.<br /> <br /> The restriction has made South Korea's missile capability inferior to that of rival North Korea, and some key military installations in the North have been out of South Korea's missile range.<br /> <br /> South Korea announced Sunday that the U.S. accord has been altered to allow the South to have ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers (500 miles) to better cope with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.<br /> <br /> Under the new agreement, South Korea will continue to limit the payload to 500 kilograms for ballistic missiles with an 800-kilometer range, but it will be able to use heavier payloads for missiles with shorter ranges, senior presidential official Chun Yung-woo told a news conference. The heavier a payload is, the more destructive power it can have.<br /> <br /> "The most important objective for our government in revising the missile guideline is to contain North Korea's armed provocation," Chun said.<br /> <br /> The Defense Ministry said in a statement that it will greatly increase its missile capability under the new accord, adding that South Korea will be able to "strike all of North Korea, even from southern areas."<br /> <br /> In Washington, the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.<br /> <br /> The deal also allows South Korea to operate drone aircraft with payloads of up to 2,500 kilograms (5,510 pounds) with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). It places no restriction on payloads for drones with a flying distance of less than 300 kilometers, officials said.<br /> <br /> South Korea can also possess cruise missiles with an unlimited range as long as their payload is less than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds). Media reports say the South has deployed cruise missiles with a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) but defense officials have refused to confirm that.<br /> <br /> Cruise missiles fly at a lower altitude and slower speed than ballistic missiles, making them easier to intercept, although they are considered more accurate.<br /> <br /> North Korean state media didn't immediately respond to the announcement, but analysts expected they would issue a harsh statement.<br /> <br /> "North Korea will say South Korea's missile development is a preparation for war. It will likely warn that South Korea cannot avoid a nuclear disaster if it moves to attack North Korean missile bases," said analyst Baek Seung-joo of the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul.<br /> <br /> North Korea has missiles that can hit South Korea, Japan and the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry. In April, the country conducted a long-range rocket test that Washington, Seoul and others called a cover for a test of long-range missile technology. North Korea says the rocket, which broke apart shortly after liftoff, was meant to launch a satellite.<br /> <br /> North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, but experts don't believe it has yet mastered the technology needed to mount a nuclear weapon on a missile.<br /> <br /> The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against possible aggression from North Korea.<br /> <br /> <br /> U.S. embassy warns about
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 3 days ago )
World leaders vow vigorous response to Paris terror spree, but little indication of next steps
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama call...
2:14PM ( 1 week ago )
Rash of E. coli cases in Pacific Northwest highlights problem of foodborne illnesses
SEATTLE (AP) — As Chipotle prepares to reopen its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest this week after an E. coli outbreak that sickened about 45 people, health experts say foodborne illnesses are mor...
1:40AM ( 1 week ago )
Biden says he will not run for president in 2016, finalizing field of Democratic candidates
Vice President Joe Biden will not run for president in 2016, he said Wednesday, ending a months-long flirtation with a third White House campaign and setting him on a glide path toward the end of his decades-long political career.
1:34PM ( 1 month ago )
UN is next stop for Obama after success with Iran, pope; top issues are IS, Syria, Russia
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from successes on Iran and with the pope, President Barack Obama still carried heavy burdens into critical meetings this week at the U.N. General Assembly.They include the threat...
3:31PM ( 1 month ago )