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S Korea to Purchase $3Bln in Weapons in 2016 Amid North’s Nuclear Threats

S Korea is to purchase arms worth 3.5 trillion won to boost its military capacity amid North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats, local media reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s defense procurement agency.

Seoul is to purchase arms worth 3.5 trillion won ($3 billion) to boost its military capacity amid North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats, local media reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s defense procurement agency.

According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Seoul is planning to spend 9 percent of its defense budget for this year ($32.6 billion) on weapons from foreign countries, or roughly $3 billion, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The defense agency is determined to further develop its domestically produced missile defense systems — Kill Chain and Korean Air and Missile Defense — so that they would be in a position to intercept missiles fired from North Korea before 2023 in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test and long range rocket attack earlier this year.

Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang escalated significantly in January when Pyongyang successfully conducted its first underground test of a hydrogen bomb.

South Korea and North Korea have been at loggerheads since the 1950-1953 Korean War. In 2005, North Korea declared itself a nuclear power and carried out several nuclear weapon tests, which led to a deterioration in Seoul- Pyongyang relations.

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