2013-05-19 By Jun Ji-hye - koreatimes.co.kr
South Korea has deployed Israeli-built anti-tank missiles able to incapacitate North Korean coastal artillery near the western sea border, a military official said Sunday.
"We recently have placed dozens of Spike missiles and their launchers on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands," an official of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. “They can destroy the enemy’s underground facilities in the case of an attack. They are also capable of seeking and striking moving targets.”
The warhead is equipped with a camera so soldiers using the launchers can monitor video images while aiming; or they can input coordinates in advance, according to the official.
The satellite-guided Spike missile has a range of 20 kilometers ㅡ Yeonpyeong is located just 11 kilometers from North Korea.
The military initially planned to station the GPS-guided missile during the second half of 2012, but experienced a six-month delay because test-firing conducted in Israel from October last year to January this year saw malfunctions.
It made the deployment decision in March after all three successful tests.
On Saturday, Pyongyang launched three short-range guided missiles into the sea off the east coast ㅡ two in the morning and one in the afternoon.
In November 2010, when the North shelled Yeonpyeong, killing four South Koreans, the military failed to hit the enemy artillery precisely because it was mostly hidden in tunnels or caves.
The missile is produced by Israel’s Rafael Advance Defense System and capable of neutralizing enemy strongholds, and is expected to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.