June 2, 2009
America has agreed to sell “bunker-buster” bombs to South Korea capable of destroying underground facilities in North Korea.
[efoods]The laser-guided GBU-28 bombs were first used in 1990 during the Gulf War to destroy underground command centres in Iraq.
The 19-ft-long, 5,000lb bombs can penetrate over 20ft of concrete and 100ft of earth and could be used to target North Korea’s intricate system of military bunkers and a series of munitions tunnels along the border.
General Walter Sharp, the top United States commander in the South, said in April that the North may have around 13,000 artillery pieces deployed along the border.
An unnamed South Korean military official told the Yonhap news agency that the bombs would be delivered between 2010 and 2014.
Meanwhile, South Korea has sent a high-speed gun boat equipped with stealth technology to the border with North Korea in the Yellow Sea. The deployment of the 440-ton Yun Yeong Ha came after North Korea scrapped an armistice agreement dating from the Korean War and threatened the safety of South Korean islands. The ship is equipped with guided missiles, a 76mm gun and a 40mm gun.