South Korea's new government is to hasten the development and deployment of missiles capable of striking targets anywhere in North Korea.
Seoul reached an agreement with the United States in October last year that enables it to develop ballistic missiles with a range of 800km (497 miles), reducing its reliance on the US military .
Under the previous with Washington, South Korea was limited to domestically developed weapons systems with a range of 300km (187 miles), but Pyongyang's continued belligerence - including last month's launch of a missile and worrying suggestions that the regime might be planning to conduct another nuclear test - have forced Seoul to move the schedule forward.
No specific date has been given for the deployment, with a government official telling Yonhap News that the weapons would be sited as early as possible.
"We will work toward quickly putting in force ballistic missiles with a range of 800km," said Kim Jang-soo, who will oversee North Korean policies as soon as the government of Park Guen-hye is sworn in next month.
"Renewing our security readiness is a pressing matter," said Kim, who also called on the international community to take concerted measures to further isolate North Korea in the wake of its missile launch.
Ms Park emphasised in her election campaign the need to step up South Korea's defences and give the nation - which is still technically at war with the North - a credible deterrence.
The move is unlikely to completely assuage fears in the South, however, with a new survey reporting that four out of every five South Koreans believe that war could once again break out on the peninsula.
Nearly 79 per cent of the people replying to the study, conducted by the agency representing veterans of the 1950-'53 Korean War believe war is a distinct possibility.