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South Korea is going on a large-scale weapons acquisition program and is planning to operate three conventional aircraft carriers in its

powerful navy. Initially, the South Korean military will modify one of its existing helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships to take in S!"# fighter aircraft such as the $-%&' for immediate use. #ater, two purpose-built carriers will be launched in its shipyards. 'esides acquiring aircraft carriers and the $-%&s, the South Korean military wants to produce its own home-made stealth fighters and purchase (lobal )awk *+ s. It is also planning to build three more Se,ong class +egis destroyers, the largest of its type in the world. !hese warships with their armament are more like light cruisers. -espite the huge cost involved in getting the carriers, stealth fighters, *+ s and advanced +egis warships, South Korea is also putting out contracts for submarines equipped with highly advanced propulsion systems and at the same time, it is going ahead with the development of land attack missiles with increased range and greater accuracy. It is also buying !aurus long-range bunker busters from .urope. "n the surface, Seoul is claiming that it needs all this newfangled doomsday weaponry to tackle /orth Korea but the plain truth is Seoul is doing its part for the *S organised arms race in east +sia.