S. Korean army chief warns of likely provocations from North

Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM
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SEOUL, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- South Korea needs to replace its aging military equipment with advanced systems to counter threats from North Korea, its army chief said.

Speaking at a military forum in Seoul, Gen. Kwon Oh-sung warned the Kim Jong Un regime in North Korea may resort to provocations to gain strategic initiative, Yonhap News reported.

"There is a very high chance of provocation by North Korea's Kim Jong-un regime to turn the tide and take the lead in the inter-Korean relations," the general said. "The South Korean army should prepare for the present danger and also meet various demands."

Kwon said the South Korean army should gradually replace the aging military equipment with the advanced system and effectively maintain weapons to enhance deterrence capabilities.

The army has said more than half of its MD 500 helicopters have crossed their maximum life cycle of 30 years and that old battle tanks have remained idle since manufacture of their parts has been halted.

In March, South Korea chose Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to replace 36 MD 500 helicopters between 2016 and 2018.

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