DTN News: South Korea Could Swiftly Hit North Korea Nuke Bases Says General Lee Sang-Eui*Source: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - September 26, 2009: South Korea could mount swift and precise attacks on North Korea's nuclear bases should war break out on the peninsula, Seoul's incoming top military officer said Thursday. The North has about 600 Scud missiles capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly also of reaching Japanese territory in some cases. There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles which could reach Tokyo. In addition the North has three times test-launched long-range Taepodong missiles, most recently in April.*
General Lee Sang-Eui, named as next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Seoul had a list of major targets its forces would strike first should a conflict erupt.
Nuclear weaponry would pose the greatest threat, he told a parliamentary confirmation hearing, pledging to "mobilise all means available to precisely and swiftly strike" such bases.
New Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young told his own confirmation hearing last week that Seoul knew where the North was storing its nuclear arsenal.
Kim said Seoul could strike the sites through quick consultations with Washington if North Korea tried to fire a nuclear weapon at the South.
Lee, quoted by Yonhap news agency, said the North was believed to have up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plutonium, enough to build at least six nuclear bombs.
After months of hostility including missile and nuclear tests, Pyongyang began making peace noises to Washington and Seoul in August.
South Korean officials have expressed scepticism about the overtures, saying the hardline communist state has not changed its fundamental attitude.
Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan accused the North last week of developing nuclear weapons to launch an attack on the South and "communise" the peninsula.
Lee in Friday's parliamentary hearing said Seoul should seek longer-range missiles to deter threats from its neighbour.
"As North Korea is threatening us with various missiles such as Rodongs and Scuds, we also need to upgrade our missile capability," Lee said.
"We will study, over the long term, ways to bolster missile capability while taking into account our security needs."
Under an agreement with the United States, which stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, Seoul restricts its missiles to a maximum range of 300 kilometres (187 miles).
There have been calls to end the pact since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in April and staged its second nuclear test in May.
But in July General Walter Sharp, commander of US forces in South Korea, said he saw no immediate need for South Korea to develop longer-range missiles.
The North has about 600 Scud missiles capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly also of reaching Japanese territory in some cases.
There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles which could reach Tokyo.
In addition the North has three times test-launched long-range Taepodong missiles, most recently in April.
The two Koreas have remained technically at war since their 1950-1953 war ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
DTN News: Capgemini Competing For Scorpion Architect Contract*Source: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - September 26, 2009: Consulting firm Capgemini is a contender for the architect's contract in the French Army's Scorpion 10 billion euro ($15 billion) modernization program, defense executives said. (Image: The Rotem KW1 Scorpion armored personnel carrier is fully amphibious).
EADS, meanwhile, has enlisted U.S. consulting company SAIC as a subcontractor in its bid for the architect's job. SAIC worked with Boeing on the Future Combat Systems before the U.S. Army canceled portions of the complex program.
The tender for architect has attracted a great deal of industry attention and information systems specialist Capgemini works on a number of important contracts for the Defense Ministry, an executive said.
Nexter and Thales have made a joint bid to be architect, Safran's Sagem has partnered with Boeing, while the CS consultancy has teamed with Ineo, a division of energy group GDF Suez.
Scorpion is intended to deliver a coherent system of systems comprising command-and-control networks and new armored vehicles.
Industry has now received the Scorpion tender terms and conditions from the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement procurement office and have until the end of October to reply. A selection is expected around March.
The bidders are free to reform their industrial teams in the light of the terms and conditions."
DTN News: White House Again Threatens Veto Over F-22, F-35 Engine, VH-71*Source: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - September 26, 2009: Just days before the new fiscal year, the Obama administration Sept. 25 issued a new warning to Congress that he will veto 2010 defense spending that includes monies for F-22 fighter, a second F-35 power plant or additional funds for the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter programs.
"The administration appreciates that the committee does not include unrequested funding" for the three programs because such actions "could result in a veto" of the spending bill, according to a Sept. 25 Statement of Administration Policy.
Congressional sources have said lawmakers are poised to offer amendments either on the Senate floor or during a coming House-Senate conference to hammer out a final version of the appropriations measure that would add funds for several of those efforts. It is expected such a move will be taken by proponents of the alternate F-35 engine, most likely in conference.
"The Congress is urged to oppose funding these programs during floor action and in conference," according to the policy statement.
Additionally, the statement urges lawmakers to support the Pentagon's desires to stop C-17 production. The measure would add $2.5 billion for 10 Boeing-made C-17s the administration says defense officials have concluded are not needed for future missions.
The White House also opposes lawmakers' stripping $900 million from an account to fund efforts to build up Afghanistan security forces. "Accelerating the growth … of the Afghanistan National Security Forces is a key component of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan," according to the policy statement. "The president's full request reflects the commander's plan for Afghan forces to assume a greater share of responsibility for security as quickly as possible."
The administration also highlights its "significant concerns" with other funding reductions in the Senate bill for several classified cybersecurity programs.
For C-17, the Afghanistan effort and the cyber work, the administration merely urges lawmakers to act as it desires. The statement does not threaten the president will veto a bill that sustains lawmakers' plans for those things.