S.Korea to Develop High-Altitude Interceptor Missile

A U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile is launched during a test at a missile range off the island of Kauai in Hawaii on March 17, 2009. /Bloomberg A U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile is launched during a test at a missile range off the island of Kauai in Hawaii on March 17, 2009. /Bloomberg

South Korea will develop a high-altitude missile to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles with a budget of W1 trillion (US$1=W1,017).

The country also hopes to operate five surveillance satellites by 2025 to monitor the whole of North Korea at two-hour intervals. Currently reconnaissance satellites only fly over the North every eight to 12 hours.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration made the announcement Wednesday after a session of the Defense Project Promotion Committee chaired by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.

The new missile will intercept missiles at an altitude of over 40 to 60 km, even higher than the U.S.' PAC-3, which intercepts them at 15-20 km.

Military authorities made the decision to escape pressure to join the U.S.-led missile defense system, which chiefly aims to check China's growing military presence.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 12, 2014 12:22 KST