Thursday December 12, 2019
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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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Top 5 Tourist Places in South Korea’s Incheon

Here are the top five attractions in Incheon, South Korea

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Incheon tourism
Consider sparing some time in Incheon when you visit South Korea and visit these tourist attractions. Pixabay

If you are headed to the Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, chances are you will land in the Incheon International Airport, which is a short drive away from the mega city of Seoul. If you have some time to spare in Incheon, consider seeing these attractions.

Songdo Central Park

Songdo Central Park, a 1.8-kilometre seawater park is situated among the skyscrapers of Songdo. It has a walking path and a bicycle path, where visitors can take in the view of sunlight sparkling across the seawater as they enjoy a day out in the park. The view becomes even more mesmerizing after nightfall as the buildings light up around the park.

Visit the Deer farm here to see deer grazing on grass and Tribowl for a cultural space that offers various exhibitions, conferences and performances. Incheon has a river that crosses from east to west, where visitors can enjoy various water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, riding a family boat and more.

songdo Incheon
Songdo Central Park, a seawater park, is situated among the skyscrapers of Songdo. Pixabay

Moraenae Market

Located in the central area of Incheon in Guwol-dong, this traditional market was established in May 1982, when merchants started selling products on a sandy street using mere display stands. Moraenae Market first started as a wholesale market selling agricultural and fisheries products, then expanded to selling clothes, dishes, fisheries, and other diverse items. Due to the large traffic of customers compared to other traditional markets, Moraenae Market is known for keeping products up-to-date with fresh and trendy items.

National Institute of Biological Resources

The National Institute of Biological Resources is the largest collection preservation facility in Asia with approximately 6,000 species on display as of October 2019. Unlike some museums, all the specimens on display were collected from roadkills or those that faced natural deaths. Some of the species that can only be seen at this facility include Korean rose bitterling, Korean hare and white forsythia. Last fox specimen found in Korea can also be seen on display.

Incheon Grand Park

Incheon
The Incheon Subway system makes it easier to travel around. Pixabay

A treasure in the middle of the city, Incheon Grand Park is an urban nature park that provides greenery and fresh air. As the only large-scale nature park in Incheon, the park holds an arboretum, children zoo, bicycle square, rose garden and more. Various animals and plants can be seen at the arboretum and the zoo, while those looking for peace and relaxation can walk around the Lake Garden listening to the calming sound of water flowing down the stair waterfall. The most popular course in the park, Forest of Healing, has a forest walking course that serves as the perfect activity for nature therapy. Due to the park’s large size, visitors are recommended to rent a bike to get see everything the park has to offer.

Gyeongin ARA Waterway

Gyeongin ARA Waterway connects Hangang River to the Yellow Sea with an observatory, artificial waterfall, Sculpture Park and other attractions along the way. It also has an 18.2-kilometre long bicycle path that follows the waterway where many visitors enjoy riding bicycles, while others are content by taking a relaxing stroll on the promenade.

Also Read- The Best Destinations for a Perfect Travel Experience

If you want to come to Incheon on a relaxed day, Seoul Metropolitan Subway lines not only cover Seoul but also other provinces including Gyeonggi-do, Incheon, Chungcheongnam-do and Gangwon-do.

Tip: It’s easy to tour around Incheon by the Incheon subway system. (IANS)