South Korea a decade away from countering North's missiles

According to Noh Dae-lae, the head of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Seoul will not be able to properly counter North Korea's ballistic missiles for the next 10 years.
Dae-lae said that these missiles are capable of carrying chemical or even nuclear warheads. While the South Korean military purchased 48 secondhand Patriot Advanced Capability-2 systems from Germany in 2007, their ability to intercept missiles is limited, The Korea Times reports.

“Earlier versions of patriot systems were designed to counter air-breathing targets, things with engines in them, such as jets and helicopters, fixed wing aircraft,” Morri Leland, the director of international business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said, according to The Korea Times. “But threats have evolved and now there is a need to counter theater-ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and air-breathing missiles. Don’t be fooled, don’t be misled. Old missiles cannot counter cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and theater missiles."
Refurbishing Korea's existing PAC-2 systems to the PAC-3 would cost approximately $350 million, or about one third of the $1 billion that Korea paid to procure the used ones. The PAC-3 missile is viewed widely as the world's most advanced, capable and powerful theater air defense missile. This type of missile provides the best defense against hostile ballistic and cruise missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction.
Leland said that Korea should take a layered approach in introducing anti-missile technologies because the country is facing a growing need to intercept North Korean missiles with WMDs as far away as possible, The Korea Times reports.
Kim Young-san, the head of DAPA's guided missile department, said that the military has yet to secure a budget for either upgrading PAC-2 or buying PAC-3 or THAAD, a complement to PAC-3s, but will attempt to balance the import of foreign technology and indigenous development.
“We plan to develop and secure our own missile defense technology, but at the same time are acutely aware that we will likely need help from foreign countries in securing core technologies or filling a possible security gap," Young-san said, according to The Korea Times.