The United States has 'agreed to allow' South Korea to extend the range and payload of its ballistic missiles, the government here said on Sunday while announcing a revised bilateral missile pact that tries to balance Washington’s fear of a regional arms race with its ally’s concern over growing military threats from North Korea.
After two years of closely monitored negotiations that tested their alliance, the United States also agreed to let South Korea develop and deploy more powerful unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, that can carry more reconnaissance gear and weapons.
Until now, South Korea has been barred from deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers, or 187 miles, and a payload of more than 500 kilograms, or 1,100 pounds — a capacity officials here believed was not enough to protect their country from North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear and missile capabilities. The South was also banned from deploying drones that can carry more than 500 kilograms of weapons or equipment.
Read more: The NY Times