Under the new deal with the U.S., South Korea will be able to possess ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers (500 miles). South Korea will continue to limit the payload to 500 kilograms for ballistic missiles with an 800-kilometer range, but it will be able to use heavier payloads for missiles with shorter ranges.
A previous 2001 accord with Washington had barred South Korea from deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a payload of more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) because of concerns about a regional arms race.
The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against possible aggression from North Korea.
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Associated Press writers Eric Talmadge in Tokyo and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.
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