South Korea has reportedly deployed 40 bunker buster bombs to the Korean peninsula to counter threats from North Korea.
News of the deployment broke one day after pictures of a North Korean raid on a replica of the Blue House, the office of the South Korean president, were published in the Rodong Sinmun, according to NK News.
The raid on the Blue House replica was carried out by Unit 325 of the Korean People’s Army (KPA). The images showed camouflaged paratroopers descending on the office of the president. Fire and smoke poured out of the house as the soldiers rushed into the fight.
Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the operations. The photos were released Sunday, however, the exact date of the staged assault is unknown.
Since South Korean lawmakers voted to impeach South Korean President Park Geun-hye Friday, defense officials have been on guard against possible provocations from Pyongyang.
“There is a high possibility that North Korea’s military could make provocative acts,” explained South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman General Lee Sun-jin, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
The North Korean drill may have been a probing act rather than an actual threat. Some experts argue that Pyongyang is unlikely to engage in provocations amidst the current political crisis in South Korea, since it does not want to give the conservatives, which are currently in the hot seat, political fire power.
While the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) has yet to confirm the deployment of new weaponry, multiple Korean news agencies, some citing the South Korean Air Force, claim that 40 Taurus KEPD 350 “bunker buster” missiles were delivered earlier in December and sent to the K-2 Taegu Air Force Base.
Experts say these missiles are accurate enough to be dropped through Kim Jong-un’s office window, NK News revealed.
A total of 170 Taurus KEPD 350 missiles are expected to be deployed to the peninsula by next year. The missiles will reportedly be loaded onto F-15s.
The missiles have a range of about 300 miles and are one of the best weapons the South has against North Korea’s underground facilities.
South Korea’s MND released its bunker buster bomb deployment plan in March. The missiles are a part of a $28 billion defense plan to counter North Korea’s nuclear program. The Taurus KEPD 350 can be used in surgical strikes against hardened, high-value targets.
There are three critical stages to the South Korean defense strategy: the Kill Chain, the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) plan.
Stage one involves eliminating North Korean nuclear and missile facilities before a nuclear weapon can be fired once a preemptive strike is detected. Stage two focuses on intercepting incoming missiles. Stage three involves surgical strikes and special forces operations against the North Korean leadership and key assets.
North Korea has published numerous criticisms of South Korea’s purchase of bunker buster weaponry.
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