South Korea’s defence procurement agency on Wednesday said it plans to import arms worth some $2 billion this year, in a bid to bolster its military capabilities against North Korea.
The expenditure will be nine percent of the over $32 billion national defence budget for this fiscal year, according to a statement by the country’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA).
In the wake of recurrent nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, Seoul is aiming to develop an indigenous missile defence shield called “Kill Chain” and widen its Air and Missile Defence System — which uses US made Patriot missiles.
This projectile, manufactured by US contractor Raytheon, will account for a big portion of the acquisition expenditure.
The agency apparently wishes to speed up construction of the two systems ahead of schedule, the initial date announced was 2023, in the wake of the continuous weapons testing by Pyongyang.
The last such tests took place in January and February in 2016, when the North Korean army conducted a nuclear test followed by a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology, inviting tough UN sanctions.