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South Korea will lease several military spy satellites from a foreign country next year and speed up the improvement of its combat power against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the Ministry of National Defense announced Friday.

 

It plans to pour 238.2 trillion won (US$210 billion) into a number of projects aimed at boosting the country's military firepower between 2018 and 2022 under the revised mid-term national defense blueprint. 

 

 The South, which has around 625,000 troops, is in the process of establishing a "three-axis system" to outgun the North's 1.1-million-strong military.

 

 The three parts are the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system, the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) strategy. 

The South's military plans to set up the three-tier system by the early 2020s, earlier than the initially planned mid-2020s, according to the strategy reported to the National Assembly.

 

The decision reflects the seriousness of the communist nation's development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the urgency of resolving the problem.

 

 The ministry said it plans to increase the ratio of spending on R&D projects to defense budgets to 8.3 percent in 2022 from 6.9 percent this year.

 

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