South Korea, Japan talks to pivot toward funding missile defence systems

South Korea, Japan talks to pivot toward funding missile defence systems

South Korea’s foreign minister arrives in Tokyo today for talks on collective security and North Korea with her Japanese counterpart.

Japan Aegis

Photo: AFP

South Korea’s foreign minister arrives in Tokyo today for talks on collective security and North Korea with her Japanese counterpart.

On November 29, Pyongyang test-fired its latest missile—a Hwasong-15 ICBM, which it says is capable of hitting all of the continental United States.

Discussion will likely focus on the financing of missile defence systems. Last week, Japan’s Ministry of Defence submitted its 2018 budget request, which saw a 2.5% year-on-year increase to overall spending. Some $1.6 billion is being earmarked to upgrade the country’s missile defence systems, including the introduction of the land-based Aegis missile system. The Cabinet plans to endorse the deployment of this latest military expenditure ahead of the vote.

With concerns over North Korea’s ICBM capabilities mounting worldwide, expect states within immediate range of the North, like Japan and South Korea, to continue to weigh the costs and benefits of installing missile defence systems as military safety nets.