South Korea’s Military Parade: A Bold Statement Against North Korea
The parade is scheduled to coincide with South Korea's Armed Forces Day, traditionally a relatively low-key event compared to the grandiose military displays led by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, which often include the unveiling of strategic weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — South Korea is set to host its first major military parade in a decade on Tuesday, September 26, showcasing a formidable display of weaponry, from ballistic missiles to attack helicopters.
This grand spectacle is aimed at asserting South Korea’s resolve as it adopts a more assertive stance against its northern neighbor, North Korea.
The parade is scheduled to coincide with South Korea’s Armed Forces Day, traditionally a relatively low-key event compared to the grandiose military displays led by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, which often include the unveiling of strategic weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The day-long event, taking place in the heart of Seoul, will feature thousands of troops, South Korea’s domestically produced tanks, self-propelled artillery, attack aircraft, and drones.
Additionally, it will see the participation of 300 out of the 28,500 United States soldiers stationed in the country, according to statements from the Defense Ministry.
The highlight of the parade will be a 2-kilometer procession through Seoul’s bustling commercial and business district, concluding at the Gwanghwamun area, the gateway to a sprawling palace in the city center.
The last time South Korea held a military street parade of this magnitude was in 2013.
This military showcase comes as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol adopts a more hawkish approach towards North Korea, making displays of military strength and joint exercises a cornerstone of his strategy to counter the North’s advancing nuclear and missile programs.
President Yoon has promised a swift and overwhelming response to any aggression from Pyongyang and has actively strengthened the military alliance with the United States and Japan since taking office last year.
The parade is set to commence at an airbase in Seongnam, situated on the outskirts of Seoul.
It will include public displays of cutting-edge weaponry, such as the Hyunmoo missiles, L-SAM missile interceptors, F-35 jets, and South Korea’s first domestically developed fighter, the KF-21. Analysts suggest that the Hyunmoo missile system is a pivotal element in South Korea’s strategy for countering North Korean threats during a potential conflict, while the L-SAM system is designed to intercept incoming missiles at altitudes ranging from 50 to 60 kilometers.
The event will also feature a joint flyover by South Korean and US military aircraft, demonstrating an “upgraded” combined defense posture, as stated by the Ministry of Defense.
This grand military parade comes just a week after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returned from a visit to Russia, where he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to enhance military cooperation. President Yoon has cautioned that if Russia assists North Korea in bolstering its weapons programs in exchange for support in its conflict with Ukraine, it would be viewed as a “direct provocation.” — DSA
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