South Korea to buy bunker busting missiles from Europe

Thu Apr 4, 2013 5:43am EDT

South Korean vehicles transporting South Korean employees working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), head towards the South's Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) area, just south of the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, north of Seoul, April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korean vehicles transporting South Korean employees working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), head towards the South's Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) area, just south of the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, north of Seoul, April 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

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viewkind4uc1pardhighlight1f0fs24 SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is to buy Taurus bunker-busting air-to-ground long range missiles for its F-15K strike fighters in a move to boost its strike power amid rising tensions with North Korea, its \highlight2 defense\highlight1 minister told a parliamentary committee on Thursday.\par

The decision to pick a European supplier is due to Washington's unwillingness to supply Seoul's first choice missile, the U.S. made JASSM, a person familiar with the plans later told Reuters and is a rare decision for a military that primarily picks U.S.-made equipment.\par

The decision comes as South Korea is getting ready to award a tender for 60 fighter jets, in a competition between Lockheed Martin's Corp's <LMT.N