The South Korean Defense Ministry last week offered its five-year budget proposal, which includes a major focus -- to the tune of tens of billions of dollars -- on increasing the country's ability to thwart possible North Korean missile strikes from reaching their targets, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
Approximately $26.4 billion is sought for fiscal 2014 to 2018 for the purchase of missile defense-related armaments, including cruise and ballistic missiles, satellites and remotely piloted surveillance aircraft.
The spending proposal asks for funding to modernize South Korea's arsenal of U.S.-made Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile interceptors and to acquire new PAC-2 missiles.
"We are putting [in] efforts to procure weapons to establish the kill chain to preemptively detect and strike North Korean missiles, and to establish the KAMD, which is capable of intercepting the enemy's missiles," Ju Chul-ki, the senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and security, said on Thursday. The South's evolving domestic Korea Air and Missile Defense framework is focused on defending against lower-altitude missile threats.