South Korea explores missile defense options

July 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM

SEOUL, July 25 (UPI) -- The South Korean government said Thursday it was designating more than 10 percent of its defense budget to deter missile threats from North Korea.

The South Korean Defense Ministry submitted a $192.6 billion budget request to the government for deliberation. The four-year budget would allocate 13.7 percent of the request for the purchase of a missile shield program, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high in the wake of the February test by North Korea of a nuclear device. Both sides have been at odds over the resumption of work at the Kaesong joint industrial complex, the only economic link between the two countries.

The 10-year-old facility was shuttered in April because of mounting tensions between the two Koreas. North Korea said Thursday it would station troops near the facility if ongoing negotiations over the complex fail.

South Korea said it would purchase ballistic and cruise missiles as well as surveillance drones under its planned five-year missile defense option.

North Korea said maritime war games involving the U.S. and South Korean militaries this year was an act of aggression.

This weekend marks the anniversary of the armistice agreement halting the Korean War in the 1950s.

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