South Korean Military Chief Visits Missile Defense Center Amid North Korean Threats

DAEGU - South Korea's highest-ranking military official, JCS Chairman Adm. Kim Myung-soo, emphasized the need for a robust response to any provocations, during a visit to an Air Force missile defense operations center on Sunday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the visit comes at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea, coinciding with the start of the annual Freedom Shield exercise between South Korea and the United States, set to run for 11 days.

Adm. Kim's remarks at the second Korea Air and Missile Defense operations center, located within the Air Combat Command in Daegu, 237 kilometers southeast of Seoul, underscored the military's preparedness in the face of potential threats from the North. He urged for an immediate and overwhelming response to any enemy provocations, reflecting the gravity of the current security environment on the Korean Peninsula.

The center is a crucial component of South Korea's "three axis" defense strategy, which includes the Kill Chain preemptive strike platform and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation plan aimed at neutralizing North Korean leadership in the event of a major conflict. Earlier on the same day, Adm. Kim also visited the Army 2nd Operations Command in Daegu, where he stressed the importance of readiness in counterterrorism and border security operations.

North Korea has historically criticized the joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington, labeling them as preparations for an invasion, a claim both allies refute, maintaining that the drills are purely defensive. In a recent display of military might, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw artillery drills targeting areas that could reach Seoul, signaling a direct response to the Freedom Shield exercise.

Additionally, the JCS reported multiple attempts by North Korea to disrupt Global Positioning System signals in the vicinity of South Korea's northwestern border islands in the Yellow Sea, though no damages were incurred. These developments highlight the ongoing tensions and the complex security dynamics on the Korean Peninsula.

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