SEOUL, South Korea has renamed its "three-axis" defense system, a bedrock scheme to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, in line with ongoing efforts for inter-Korean reconciliation and peace, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.

The new name, roughly translated as "system to respond to nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD)," appears intended to mitigate a sense of deep hostility infused in the previous name.

The three-axis system consists of Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict; the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform; and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD).

The ministry said that KMPR and Kill Chain have been renamed "overwhelming response" and "strategic target strike," respectively. KAMD has been changed to the "Korea-style missile defense."

The ministry cautioned that the name change does not mean that it would ditch its push to build the defense system.

"We will proceed with the efforts to build our assets for the system as planned," the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

Speculation has persisted that Seoul would adjust the three-pronged system as it pushes for a series of trust-building and conventional arms control measures with Pyongyang to help facilitate efforts for a lasting peace on the divided peninsula.

Source: Yonhap news Agency