As Crisis Deepens, U.S. Bolsters South Korea’s Arsenal
On Tuesday, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency — the Pentagon arm that manages foreign military sales — made public plans to sell the South Koreans more surface-to-air missiles and upgrade its F-16 fighters so they can drop Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) smart bombs.
The proposed upgrade of 35 F-16s, the agency said, would allow the Republic of Korea Air Force “to adequately operate the F-16 weapon system to its fullest and utmost capability in both a deterrent role and a coalition role with United States Forces Korea and the Combined Forces Command.”
In other words, it will allow South Korean F-16s to hit artillery and anti-aircraft systems that are often hidden in bunkers and caves north of the DMZ. South Korea’s fleet of F-15Ks (pictured here) already have a precision strike capability; upgrading F-16s would allow the Republic of Korea Air Force to take on more “hardened facilities” in North Korea.
Also see North Korea: The Mother of All Stability Ops? and Inside America’s (Mock) Attack on North Korea