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S Korea joins hunt for stuff with frikkin' laser beams on it

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South Korea plans to join the exclusive club of nations possessing battlefield raygun technology, according to reports at the weekend. AFP reported that a joint gov/biz team is said to be at work on a "mobile truck-mounted laser weapon capable of destroying North Korean missiles and artillery shells".

A South Korean fridge

A South Korean fridge.

S Korea is developing a

laser raygun truck.

In fact, such technology is already on offer from US makers Boeing - though with the tiny caveat that the missiles and shells have to be sitting still on the ground for quite a long time, so that the laser can slowly heat them up to exploding point.

The AFP report - said to be taken from Korean paper Chosun Ilbo on Saturday* - didn't specify whether the North Korean munitions were to be zapped in flight or not, but the context strongly implied they were.

South Korea lies well within the striking range of various North Korean missile and artillery systems, giving the question of missile defence more urgency than in many other industrial nations. The new blaster-cannon trucks are apparently intended to reach the front line by 2010.

AFP editors also added a file pic of a tank, superbly captioned "A South Korean K1 tank. South Korea is developing a mobile truck-mounted laser weapon capable of destroying North Korean missiles and artillery shells, a report said Saturday." A tank is about as much like a truck-mounted laser as a fridge is. You might just as well stick in a picture of a fridge. So we have.

Now that's quality reporting. ®

*Sadly their English service seems not to have been operating that day.

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