The South Korean Defense Ministry has signaled its lack of interest in purchasing U.S.-manufactured Standard Missile 3 interceptors, the Korea Herald reported on Monday, citing a number of informed insiders.
Recently, the South Korean navy informally asked the ministry to consider buying SM-3 missiles. The navy already has Aegis warships but no missile interceptors for them. The lack of an answer one way or another was taken as a sign that the ministry is uninterested in acquiring the interceptors.
The South reportedly is leery of purchasing antimissile assets that might irritate China and Russia. Seoul says it is focusing on developing an indigenous missile defense framework to counter feared short-range missile strikes from North Korea. The SM-3 system is generally used against longer-range threats.