Cancel the SAM-X Project

May 2002

Statement from the Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea (CNPK), South Korea

The South Korean Ministry of Defense has pushed on the SAM-X (The next generation surface-to-air missile) Project that costs 1.5 billion dollars(1.9 trillion won), which would be invested in the next 10 years. The negotiation between the Ministry of Defense and Ratheyon Co. to deal with the 48  PAC(Patriot Advanced Capability)-3, the improved type of the Patriot Missile failed because of a disagreement on the term of payment. Now the cancellation or postponement of the project is under examination by the Ministry of Defense. We propose that the SAM-X Project which lacks justification and benefit should be cancelled.

According to the report by the YONHAP NEWS on April 26th, Ratheyon Co. demanded the Ministry of Defense to pay 99% of the sum in the first six years, but the Defense Ministry rejected this term. The demand by Raytheon is generally considered an excessive one for the following reasons: the capability of PAC-3 is not proven yet, so it is not ready for a production stage yet in the U.S.

The reasons why we demand the cancellation of the SAM-X Project are below.

First, the capability of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 is not proven yet. The recent experiment in mid-Feb for intercepting the cruise missiles resulted in failure. It is well known that intercepting the cruise missile is easier than intercepting the ballistic missiles, but PAC-3 failed to intercept the object in the 'controlled experiment'. It is clearly unreasonable and dangerous to import the unproven weapon system.

Second, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 is the essential component of the Theater Missile Defense System, so it is not proper to import the PAC-3 system before making the decision to participate in the U.S.' Missile Defense Construction. Kim Daejung government promised not to join in MD.

Third, the tension in the Korean Peninsula is escalated by U.S. President Bush's hard line to North Korea.  If the South Korean government imports the PAC-3 System, the relationship between the two Korea will rapidly deteriorate.

As the Ministry of Defense mentioned, the negotiation with Raytheon company failed by the unacceptable payment demand, so the Defense Ministry should cancel the project. The taxpayers' money, which amounts to 1.9 trillion won, must not be wasted in a project that can be harmful to peace and national security and lead us to the swamp of Missile Defense.

We alsphasize that the KDX-3 project(Ageis Cruiser) which have been suspected as the participation of the Missile Defense must be reexamined transparently.

202, 38-3 Susong-dong, Chongno-gu,
Seoul, Korea

Tel : 82-2-722-3504
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