South Korea and the United States are reportedly drawing up a joint contingency plan to employ Washington's missile defense (MD) system against North Korea's growing ballistic missiles threats.
The two programs are seen as aimed at ultimately developing long-range nuclear missiles that can reach as far as the mainland U.S, according to Yonhap News Agency.
"As the key to the allies' efforts to develop their capabilities to counter growing threats from the North's ballistic missiles in a comprehensive manner, the two countries are devising the concept and principles of their joint operations," a Seoul government source was quoted as saying.
The joint contingency plan would employ not only missiles and surveillance equipment the U.S. Forces Korea and South Korea have been developing under their Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) project, but also key assets of the U.S. MD system, according to the source.
"The two sides are scheduled to outline the concept and principles officially in their defense ministers' talks later this month," the source said, adding that they will develop detailed operational plans around next year.
The defense chiefs from Seoul and Washington are scheduled to sit down for talks later this month in Washington for the annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), the report also said.
The U.S. air defense includes the X-band radar system, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system and the high-altitude, unmanned aerial vehicle, Global Hawk, it added.