SEOUL - South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Wednesday he would consider suspending a 2018 inter-Korean military pact if North Korea violates its airspace again, Yonhap news agency reported, citing his press secretary.

Yoon made the comment after being briefed on countermeasures to North Korean drones that crossed into the South last week, calling for building an "overwhelming response capability that goes beyond proportional levels," Yonhap said.

Inter-Korean relations have been testy for decades but have grown even more tense since Yoon took office in May pledging a tougher line against Pyongyang.

Yoon has criticised the military's handling of the drone incident, in part blaming the previous administration's reliance on the 2018 pact banning hostile activities in the border areas.

He has urged the military to stand ready to retaliate.

Yoon ordered the defence minister to launch a comprehensive drone unit that performs multi-purpose missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare, and to set up a system to mass-produce small drones that are difficult to detect within the year, Yonhap said, citing his press secretary, Kim Eun-hye.

"He also called for accelerating the development to produce stealth drones this year and quickly establishing a drone killer system," Kim said, according to Yonhap.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle)