SEOUL, May 26 (UPI) -- South Korea plans to import $3.5 billion worth of arms this year to enhance its defense capabilities, the Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.
Defense Acquisition Program Administration officials said the republic will spend nearly 10 percent of this year's $32.9 billion defense budget on such efforts.
South Korea is looking to develop home-grown missile defense systems by 2023, the Kill Chain and Korean Air and Missile Defense systems, which can spot and destroy incoming North Korean missiles, according to Yonhap.
DAPA Minister Chang Myoung-jin said in January that the agency would focus on upgrading the country's existing Patriot missiles while also developing long-range ground-to-air missiles to counter threats from the north.
In reaction to Pyongyang conducting its fourth nuclear test and firing off a long-range rocket this year, South Korea's DAPA is also reportedly seeking to get its homegrown defense system established ahead of schedule.