South Korea to develop military robot

The first stage of a three-part project calls for developing a dog- or horse-like robot by 2013 that can be used in patrolling, reconnaissance and mine removal, said Park Yong-wun, a researcher at the state-run Agency for Defense Development.

The second stage is aimed at developing robots that can assist troops with light weapons by 2020 and the third stage calls for developing robots equipped with heavy weapons by 2025, Park said.

"A more dangerous environment is expected in future battlefields" due to more precise weapons systems, the army said on its Web site, summarizing the outcome of a weekend workshop on the robot project.

South Korea faces the communist North across the world's most heavily armed border. The North has about 1.1 million troops, the world's fifth largest, the AP reports.

The Defense Ministry has said robots - along with sensor-activated alarm systems and closed-circuit TV cameras - could be installed on the 250-kilometer-long (155-mile-long) border with the North.

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