Koreas ramp up arms race

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IslamNews – A quiet arms race has been heating up between North and South Korea, analysts say, and it’s threatening the delicate balance of peace between the two nations.

Unlike North Korea, the South lacks nuclear weapons. But in recent years the country has revved up its military spending, procuring American stealth jets and building increasingly powerful conventional missiles capable of targeting North Korean missile facilities and war bunkers.

The impoverished North has used those moves to justify rapidly expanding its own arsenal, and it has threatened to tip its short-range missiles with nuclear warheads to make them harder to intercept.

Washington has tried to prevent missile proliferation in both countries for decades, but has recently eased restrictions on the South so that it could defend itself.

This month, South Korea introduced the KF-21, a supersonic fighter jet developed at a cost of $7.8 billion, and revealed plans to acquire dozens of American combat helicopters. President Moon Jae-in has also increased South Korea’s annual military spending by an average of 7 percent, compared with the 4.1 percent average of his predecessor.

Source: The New York Times