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North Korea has deployed about 900 new tanks equipped with improved armaments in the last seven years to modernize its aging tank fleet, a South Korean military source told Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.
"The North Korean military has deployed 900 new tanks from 2005 until last year," the source was quoted as saying. "The number is more than double the South Korean tanks deployed during the same period."
The new tanks, known as "Chonma-ho 5" (sky horse) and "Songun-ho" (military first), are equipped with an advanced firing control system and turret guns, an upgrade compared to the "Pokpung-ho" (storm) tank, which was first revealed in October 2010 during a military parade.
The Chonma-ho 5 is the latest variant of North Korea's main battle tank, the Chonma, which is based on the former Soviet Union's T-62 tank.
About 100 Songun tanks were spotted recently, and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledged that North Korean ground forces have garrisoned the new tanks, the source said.
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