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South Korea to Buy European Long-Range Missiles

South Korea has decided to upgrade its long-range missile arsenal with European-made weapons, after the Pentagon did not approve the sale of similar U.S. technology.

Seoul's state procurement agency on Wednesday said authorities have approved a plan to buy the air-launched cruise missiles made by the German-Swedish Taurus Systems joint venture.

The Yonhap news agency said the number of missiles and proposed budget have not been confirmed.

Seoul had expressed interest in the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles made by U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin. But the U.S. Defense Department has not approved the sale of the missile, which is classified as a strategic weapon.

The GPS-guided missile, which will be used with South Korea's F-15K strike fighters, has a range of 500 kilometers. Its bunker-busting warheads can penetrate up to 6 meters of reinforced concrete.

South Korea has been looking to expand the range of its missile arsenal to counter what it says is a threat from its heavily armed neighbor, North Korea.
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