South Korean JCS Chairman Urges Readiness Against North Korean Surprise Attacks

SEOUL, South Korea - In response to North Korea's recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Kim Myung-soo emphasized the need for robust preparedness against potential surprise artillery attacks. This call to action comes amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim visited the Army's Ground Operations Command, responsible for border defense, and received updates on North Korean military activities and potential provocation scenarios. This briefing followed Pyongyang's cancellation of a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement last month. "If the enemy provokes, I want you to thoroughly retaliate with an overwhelming capability to deter additional threats," Kim stated during his visit to Yongin, south of Seoul.

He highlighted the critical role of close coordination between South Korean and United States combined firepower task force units to quickly counter North Korean artillery attacks. Seoul officials estimate North Korea possesses about 700 long-range artillery pieces, with around 300 posing a direct threat to the Seoul metropolitan area.

Additionally, Kim instructed military personnel to prepare for simultaneous artillery attacks, akin to tactics used by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, and to enhance strike capabilities against North Korea's underground tunnels and ammunition storage in wartime.

The escalation of inter-Korean tension follows North Korea's scrapping of the 2018 agreement and its launch of a military spy satellite on Nov. 21. North Korea's test-firing of the solid-fuel Hwasong-18 ICBM was described as a warning against increasing U.S. hostility. In response, South Korea, the U.S., and Japan have activated a real-time missile data sharing system to strengthen trilateral security cooperation.

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