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South Korea to Buy 36 US Apache Helicopters

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South Korea has agreed to buy a fleet of U.S. Apache attack helicopters, at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea.

The South's defense acquisition agency says it will buy 36 of the helicopters from aircraft maker Boeing over a three-year period starting in 2016.

The agency says the helicopters are intended to replace a fleet of aging Army helicopters and to help deter provocations from the North.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency is reporting the deal is worth about $1.5 billion.

For weeks, North Korea has made repeated threats of a possible nuclear attack, including against the U.S. mainland.

Pyongyang has been angered in part by joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that it sees as a prelude to an invasion of the North. Washington and Seoul have insisted the drills are defensive.

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