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South Korea to establish ‘strategic command' to respond to Pyongyang

South Korea's proposed strategic command is expected to oversee implementation of the RoK Armed Forces' three-axis defence system, which includes capabilities such as the Cheongung II medium-range surface-to-air missile system (pictured above). (DAPA)

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense (MND) is planning to establish a new command unit to co-ordinate deployment of some of the country's critical military assets. The move is part of the new administration's effort to bolster capability against North Korea.

An MND spokesperson told Janes on 8 July that the proposed ‘strategic command' would be responsible for formulating the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces' “substantive response and deterrence capability in view of security situations” facing South Korea.

The strategic command is expected to be established in phases, possibly during the next two years, although its detailed organisation and full remit are yet to be finalised by the MND.

Plans to establish the strategic command were first referenced by the MND in a press notice issued on 6 July following a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who assumed office in May, and top commanders from the RoK Armed Forces.

The MND said an important part of the strategic command's responsibility is expected to be to discharge ‘command-and-control' operations over South Korea's so-called three-axis defence system, which refers to capabilities including air defence, pre-emptive strike, and retaliation.

Headline programmes within the three-axis system comprise:

• The Strategic Target Strike pre-emptive strike system (also known as Kill Chain), which intends to destroy North Korean missile threats before they leave North Korean territory

• The Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, which provides a tiered defence against ballistic missiles, aircraft, and cruise missiles

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