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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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U.S. Missile Sales Drive Intense Rivalry Between Two Koreas

US Missile Sales Drive Intense Rivalry Between Two Koreas

(Photo : Reuters)

The US State Department has recently approved a billion dollar sale of missiles to South Korea, a move which military observers said was to show North Korea of their increasing military might.

Yonhap, the South Korean news agency, reported that the State Department is approving the sale of 136 PAC-3 missiles to South Korea to the tune of $1.405 billion.

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The rivalry between North and South Korea has become increasingly intense as the two nations continue to outdo each other in acquiring military material and capability.

The two has recently been on a race in acquiring missiles with South Korea turning to US material and weaponry to upgrade their military capability.

The US Defense Security Agency reportedly  defended its approval of the sale as " meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation."

The sale has been approved amid the US Defense people pushing THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, as part of South Korea's military upgrade but South Korea seemed not interested in it.

Pentagon reportedly has been convincing the South Koreans that they need THAAD but South Korea opted for the PAC-3.

THAAD  calls for the installation of missile launchers capable of shooting down incoming missiles at altitudes of over 100 miles.

Reports said the newly-installed US Ambassador to South Korea comes from a defense background and is believed to have been assigned  in the country to continue convincing South Korean leaders of the wisdom of procuring THAAD.

Mark Lippert served as chief of staff to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and assistant secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific.

He served in Iraq as a naval officer and worked on the National Security Council at the approval of US President Barack Obama.

Reports said Lippert will seek to persuade South Korean leaders to buy THAAD only because North Korea periodically tests its own missiles and developing missiles for launch from warships.

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