South Korea is looking to build 2 nuclear-powered submarines and has assigned a task force to study the project.
"With longer-term perspectives to have nuclear-powered submarines, we have been running a task force of our own," the South Korean Navy said in a report presented to lawmakers for a parliamentary audit.
"As the matter will be decided in accordance with national policy, the Navy will work closely with the defense ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff," it added.
"Operating the task force does not mean that the Navy is pushing for related projects in earnest, as nothing has been decided. It is mainly collecting information regarding the matter," a Navy officer was quoted as saying by local media.
The plan to build such boats was floated as early as in 2003 as part of its long-term military build-up program. Seoul dropped the project in 2004 following its disclosure in the media.
Then in 2017, the defense ministry carried out research on the matter through private entities, which led the military to feel the necessity of the asset, according to Navy officers.
Speculations are rife that the country could develop its 3,000-ton Chang Bo Go-III submarine as a nuclear-powered one. Seoul is currently carrying out the project to build the 3,000-ton indigenous submarine by 2031, with a process to develop its system set to begin in earnest this year.