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On Dec. 19, the day the National Security Council met to approve the purchase of a U.S.-developed missile defense system, the government announced it will update the country’s basic defense program by the end of 2004.

The new program should have two directions, according to agreements reached at the council meeting: beefing up defenses against “new threats” such as terrorism, as well as ballistic missiles, and making a more active contribution to international peace and stability.

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