29 Nov : The South Korean air force said on Friday that it had taken delivery of a first shipment of US-made Patriot missiles, designed to protect against any attack by North Korea.They were bought second-hand from Germany and will replace the current ageing Nike air defence missiles, the air force said in a statement.
The first shipment arrived in the country in August but has been undergoing a series of performance tests before Seoul officially took delivery.The air force plans to spend a total of 1.05 trillion won (USD 710 million) to deploy two battalions of Patriot missiles within two years.
The air force did not say how many Patriots it had taken delivery of.South Korea previously announced plans to buy a ttal of 48 second-hand PAC-2 Patriots.
The announcement came amid worsening ties between the two Koreas.In protest at what it calls Seoul’s confrontational policy, North Korea has announced strict curbs on cross-border movements from 1st December.
The US and its allies regard the North’s missile development as a major threat to regional security, on top of its nuclear ambitions.Despite being a longtime US ally, South Korea has not joined the United States and Japan in efforts to develop a joint missile Defence system.