South Korea's defense ministry has sought a record 43.7 trillion won ($38.7 billion) military budget for fiscal 2018.
The budget proposal includes 13.6 trillion won including the early establishment of the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system and the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike program.
South Korea's defense ministry cited the growing threats from North Korea and the need for reforming the South's military under President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledge as main reasons for raising the budget.
It represents an 8.4 percent increase from 2017, The Korea Herald reported Thursday.
If approved by the finance ministry and the National Assembly, the on-year budget increase would be higher than the average growth of around 5 percent during the previous conservative administrations of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.
In 2005, the liberal Roh Moo-hyun government's defense budget expanded 11.4 percent from the previous year.
For the 2017 budget, the ministry offered a 5.3 percent jump from a year earlier, but lawmakers voted for only a 3.6 percent hike.
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South Korea is set to mass mass-produce its new mid-range hit-to-kill missile interceptor known as M-SAM following the completion of an operational capability test. The M-SAM surface-to-air missile will serve as a core element of the country's Korea Air and Missile Defense System (KAMD), currently in the making, against North Korea's threats
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