S Korea deploys missiles near border: Reports

South Korea has deployed missiles capable of hitting the North Korean capital Pyongyang near the tense border on the peninsula.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2011, 16:06 PM IST

Seoul: South Korea has deployed missiles
capable of hitting the North Korean capital Pyongyang near the
tense border on the peninsula, media reports in Seoul said
on Friday.

The forward deployment of the surface-to-surface
missiles, known as the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS),
was in response to a recent rise in tensions, Yonhap news
agency and Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported.

Several ATACMS missiles, which can be fired from
multiple rocket launchers, have been sited near the border
Demilitarised Zone, Yonhap quoted a military source as saying.

A spokesman for the South`s Joint Chiefs of Staff
declined comment but said strategy could be applied flexibly.
The defence ministry denied the report.

With an effective range of 165 kilometres, the
missiles can pinpoint targets with a global positioning system
and inertial guidance technology, Yonhap said.

The South`s army in 2004 completed the purchase of 220
ATACMS missiles from the United States.

Dong-A said the missiles were deployed both to
frontline areas and the capital area to respond to any North
Korean long-range missile attacks.

It said the South`s military expects they will act as
a deterrent.

The North has for years sited artillery and missiles
along the border which are capable of hitting Seoul.

Tensions have been high since the South accused its
neighbour of torpedoing a warship in March 2010, killing 46
sailors.

The North denied responsibility for the sinking but
last November killed four people with a bombardment of a South
Korean border island.

This month its military threatened an attack in
protest at the use, by some South Korean troops, of photos of
Pyongyang`s ruling family as rifle-range targets.

The practice has been stopped but the North is
demanding an apology.

PTI