South Korea plans to significantly expand its missile arsenal over the next five years to meet threats from North Korea.
A military official said in Seoul on Tuesday that the Defense Ministry had requested for 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) budgetary support over the next five years to "drastically" beef up its missile arsenal to better cope with missile and nuclear threats from the Communist neighbor.
The budget request was made at a meeting of the concerned Ministers on fiscal policy headed by President Lee Myung-bak on April 28, the official said, days after the South's military unveiled a new cruise missile that can hit any target in North Korea.
The plan entails deployment of hundreds of new cruise and ballistic missiles, including the Hyunmu, the country's newest cruise missile with a range of 500 to 1,500 kilometers that was unveiled last month.
South Korea has been working to reinforce its missile strength since the North last month failed to launch what the country claimed was a satellite-carrying rocket. South Korea and its ally the United States believe that the botched launch was aimed at testing a long-range ballistic missile, media reports said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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