Seoul develops radar system to detect Pyongyang artillery

Seoul: South Korea on Monday announced it has developed a new radar system to detect North Korean artillery at the border, one of the greatest threat the country faces in the event of conflict with its neighbour.

The system, called counter-artillery detection radar-II, will start operating from 2018, announced the South Korean Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) in a statement.

The South Korean army currently uses the Swedish Arthur-K system to detect artillery positions of North Korea, a country with which it has been technically at war over the last 70 years.

South Korea began developing the system in 2011 at a cost of around 54 billion won ($47 million).

This device can detect enemy artillery positions more than 60 km away, against the 40 kms range of Arthur-K.

The new radar, fitted on a truck, is designed to identify the point of launching attacks with mortar, shells or rockets and send the information to artillery units to help counteract almost immediately, according to the DAPA.

North Korea has large numbers of artillery deployed along the inter-Korean border, which brings together the South Korean capital and its adjacent border towns with a total population of around 20 million.

The announcement of the decision coincides with escalating tension on the Korean peninsula due to repeated weapons tests carried out by the Pyongyang regime and a verbal spat with the US, which has hinted at possible pre-emptive strikes.