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S. Korea to Develop Satellite, Stealth Drones, Laser Weapons

South Korea will develop stealth drones, satellites, and other cutting-edge military equipment to address evolving threats, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on Wednesday.

The plan is part of the country’s policy priorities to bolster its defense and security capabilities as North Korea continues developing nuclear weapons and high-powered missiles.

South Korea will also develop hypersonic missiles to keep up with tight global competition in this area.

Additionally, the Asian nation plans to begin research and development to build a 100-kilowatt laser weapon to counter hostile hypersonic missiles.

By 2024, DAPA is expected to acquire crucial technologies to place a small satellite into low Earth orbit using a solid-fuel rocket. This will reportedly enhance the reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities of the South Korean military.

South Korea has allocated 266.4 billion won ($220 million) to finance the development of new stealth drones and military assets.

Recent Space Rocket Launch

Earlier this week, South Korea announced that it conducted its first successful launch of a solid-fuel rocket following North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The launch was considered a “major step” towards acquiring space surveillance capability amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Seoul currently has no military reconnaissance satellites and depends on American spy satellites to monitor strategic facilities in North Korea.

“Coming at a very grave time following North Korea’s lifting of the weapons tests moratorium, this successful test-launch of the solid-fuel space launch vehicle is a key milestone in our military’s efforts to [build] a unilateral space-based surveillance system and bolster defence capability,” South Korea said in a statement quoted by Al Jazeera.

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