Seoul's Defense Ministry spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday, that the military is planning to increase spending on missile defense capabilities to counter threats from North Korea.
[Interview : Kim Min-seok, Spokesperson
Ministry of National Defense] "We plan to continue strengthening our combat capability in accordance with government guidelines."
The spokesman was commenting on media reports that South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin requested during an annual budget meeting last month around 2.5 trillion won or roughly 2 billion U.S. dollars on missile development for the next five years.
However, the defense ministry spokesperson declined to confirm the exact amount requested for the project since the information was discussed during a closed-door session.
South Korea currently owns Hyunmoo-3 cruise missiles that can fly as far as 15-hundred kilometers and can precisely hit targets as small as 30 centimeters even when it is launched from hundreds of kilometers away.
But these cruise missiles don't come cheap as they reportedly cost around 4 billion won or roughly 3.4 million dollars each.
With the increased budget, South Korean military is hoping to add more of these high-tech missiles to the front lines, to deter North Korean threats.
[Interview : ] "The Defense Ministry plans to submit the five-year defense plan with the increased missile budget, to the national assembly for review in October.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News."