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S.Korea to deploy Israeli missiles at border island-media

South Korea agrees to purchase precision-guided missiles from an Israeli company, attempting to increase security arrangements near its tense borders with North Korea

Reuters , Tuesday 6 Sep 2011
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South Korea has agreed to purchase precision-guided missiles from an Israeli company as part of efforts to increase security near a tense border with North Korea off the west coast, South Korean media reported on Tuesday.

Yonhap news agency quoted a military source as saying Seoul had recently agreed to buy Spike NLOS missiles, and that they should be deployed late next year.

About 50 missiles will be placed on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands in the Yellow Sea, the source added.

Four South Koreans were killed last November when the North shelled Yeonpyeong in the first such attack on a civilian location on South Korean soil.

Pyongyang said it was provoked into the attack by a South Korean military exercise in the area.

Seoul has ramped up its military presence in the area since the attack, and vowed to hit back hard against further attacks.

Developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense System, the GPS-guided missile has a range of 25 km (16 miles), meaning it is easily capable of hitting North's artillery pieces hidden in mountain caves along the tense Yellow Sea border, Yonhap said.

The Northern Limit Line (NLL) separating the Koreas was unilaterally drawn by the U.N. forces at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Pyongyang does not recognise the demarcation line and has demanded that it be re-drawn farther south.

The West Sea border has been the scene of numerous incidents over the past decade, and the two Koreas, who are still technically at war, briefly exchanged artillery fire there this year.

In the past two months, however, a flurry of shuttle diplomacy between the regional powers has raised hopes for a resumption of long-stalled aid for denuclearisation talks.

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