Earlier this week, South Korea announced a substantial investment of approximately 290 billion won (US$218 million) to bolster its military capabilities and counter the evolving threats from North Korea’s underground weapon systems.

The investment will facilitate the development of an enhanced version of its homegrown bunker-buster missile, an initiative that aims to further secure South Korea’s deterrence capabilities. It is reportedly spearheaded by the state arms procurement agency and is slated for completion by the end of 2027.

Enhancing South Korea’s Deterrence: Precision Strikes Against Hidden Threats

According to reports, the Korean Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile-II (KTSSM-II), an upgraded iteration of its predecessor, will be mounted on a mobile launcher. This new missile is strategically designed to deliver precision strikes against concealed targets within tunnels and bunkers, a necessity given North Korea’s penchant for hiding its weapons underground.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has confirmed that the primary targets for this advanced missile will be North Korean weapon systems stationed below the Earth’s surface, particularly their long-range artillery positioned inside intricate tunnel networks.