South Korea plans to develop new equipment including new missiles and space launch vehicles after Washington scrapped a decades-old pact that banned Seoul from developing certain weapons.
The decision to lift restrictions, first imposed in 1979, was announced by the U.S. earlier this month. It bans the country from developing or possessing missiles with a maximum flight range greater than 800 km.
"In order to beef up our defense capabilities following the termination of the missile guidelines, we will supplement and develop our military systems. We will also develop diverse platforms that operate space launch vehicles in the air and at sea," the ministry said in a report submitted to the National Assembly.
Fresh ways of launching space rockets could include using aircraft and vessels, officials told Yonhap News Agency.
"We will continue to abide by the international non-proliferation regime even after the end of the guidelines," the ministry said.
North Korea has slammed U.S.’ decision. "The U.S., doggedly branding the measures taken by the DPRK for self-defense as violation of UN ‘resolutions’ grants its allies unlimited right to missile development. It is engrossed in confrontation despite its lip-service to dialogue,” government-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
“The termination step is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its shameful double-dealing,” the report said.