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US Clears $314 Million in Possible Sales of Air Defense Missiles to S. Korea

South Korea already uses SM-2 missiles developed by Raytheon Co., but is building more missile defense-capable destroyers equipped with the weapon

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air defence missiles
FILE - A Taiwan navy Kidd-class destroyer launches an SM-2 surface-to-air missile during a drill near the east coast of Taiwan, Sept. 26, 2013. The Pentagon announced May 17, 2019, that a possible sale of $314 million worth of the missiles to South Korea had been approved. VOA

The U.S. State Department has cleared $314 million in possible sales of air defense missiles to South Korea, the Pentagon said, as tensions re-emerge on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea, a key Asian ally of the United States, asked to buy up to 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems and technical assistance, for a total cost of $313.9 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on its website. The agency, a unit of the Department of Defense, delivered certification on Thursday notifying Congress of the possible sale.

The proposed sale, announced Friday by the Pentagon, comes after North Korea recently criticized South Korea’s defense purchases from the United States, including the arrival of the first F-35 stealth aircraft.

air defence missiles
South Korea already uses SM-2 missiles developed by Raytheon Co., but is building more missile defense-capable destroyers equipped with the weapon. Pixabay

With denuclearization talks stalled after a second summit between North Korea and United States broke down in Hanoi in February, North Korea went ahead with more weapons tests this month.

ALSO READ: North Korea Fires Two Short-Range Ballistic Missiles, Says S. Korea’s Military

The reclusive North and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty. South Korea already uses SM-2 missiles developed by Raytheon Co., but is building more missile defense-capable destroyers equipped with the weapon.

North Korea has boasted about its indigenous surface-to-air missiles. Separately, Japan, another key U.S. ally in the region, was also cleared to buy $317 million worth of medium-range air-to-air missiles from Washington, the DSCA said. (VOA)

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South Korea Brings Super High-Speed Internet Service

South Korea also has some 880,000 older buildings that do not have the necessary high-speed Internet infrastructure

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Internet
The move makes the country the eighth in the world to offer universal high-speed Internet to all citizens, but the transmission speed of 100 mega bit per second (100 Mbps) is the fastest by far. Pixabay

South Korea has started offering super high-speed Internet services for the entire country that will allow universal, convenient access to online data, the government said on Sunday.

“High-speed internet has been designated as a universal service that everyone is entitled to receive no matter where they are,” the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

The ministry said the country’s top fixed-line operator, KT Corp, has been tasked with providing the infrastructure in places that have not benefited from coverage in the past, Yonhap news agency reported.

The move makes the country the eighth in the world to offer universal high-speed Internet to all citizens, but the transmission speed of 100 mega bit per second (100 Mbps) is the fastest by far, the ministry said.

The US, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Malta, Croatia and Sweden have all introduced universal service, although the average speed offered stands at 10 Mbps for the US with many others getting access speeds of just 1-2 Mbps.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy ranks No. 1 among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in terms of fibre optic cable Internet connectivity penetration, yet it only started deliberating on the need to provide universal coverage in 2016.

The country does suffer from so-called dead zones, where there are no or restricted services, in rural and fishing communities, as well as in isolated homes in mountainous regions, not getting support.

Internet
South Korea has started offering super high-speed Internet services for the entire country that will allow universal, convenient access to online data. Pixabay

South Korea also has some 880,000 older buildings that do not have the necessary high-speed Internet infrastructure.

ALSO READ: High Level of Air Pollution Associated with Poor Bone Health Among Indians

The latest move will address the Internet dead spots issue, and effectively end the “data divide” that existed between people with availability to the latest Internet infrastructure and those without, said Hong Jin-bae, Director General of the Office of Network and Telecommunication Policy at the ministry. (IANS)