The Defense Ministry plans to introduce a land-based Aegis missile defense system to respond to North Korea's missile threats and will seek funding in the next fiscal year to cover system design costs, a government source said Wednesday.

The ministry had been considering a budgetary request to conduct studies on the installation of the so-called Aegis Ashore system, but expedited the schedule amid a series of ballistic missile test launches by Pyongyang, according to the source.

The ministry also plans to budget a space unit that will be created within the Self-Defense Forces to protect satellites used by Japan and the United States to detect ballistic missile launches, among other purposes.