South Korea is looking to work with other countries to keep an eye in the sky on North Korea's military.
A Defense Ministry official in Seoul said Tuesday the South's military is exploring the idea of leasing surveillance satellite capability from Israel in particular.
Because Israel uses its spy satellites mainly to monitor the Middle East, it may be feasible for South Korea to secure operating rights during periods when the satellites pass over the Korean peninsula.
Seoul is aiming to boost its indigenous satellite overwatch technology, but is unlikely to have anything on a par with today's U.S. and Israeli satellites until about 2023.
South Korea presently relies heavily on U.S. military reconnaissance satellites to gather intelligence on North Korean military activities, such as the recent launch of a Musudan missile, but wants to be able to monitor the North more directly on its own.