S. Korea plans sharply-increased defense spending to cope with threat from North

South Korean forces and anti-aircraft vehicles take part in a river-crossing exercise in Hwacheon near the border with North Korea. / KIim Jae-Hwan / AFP

South Korean forces and anti-aircraft vehicles take part in a river-crossing exercise in Hwacheon near the border with North Korea. / KIim Jae-Hwan / AFP

SEOUL — South Korea is budgeting 8.7 trillion won ($8.1 billion) over the next five years to build up its theater missile defense shield and pre-emptive strike apparatus to cope with mounting strategic threats from North Korea.

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