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Roh Mulls Over Major Military Reshuffle

Posted March. 19, 2003 22:19,   


President Roh Moo-hyun is considering a major reshuffle of posts held by four-star generals to address a backlog in promotion and expedite reform within the military.

"I believe President Roh will examine whether to appoint new general-level officers," a top presidential aide said on March 19. "He will try to allow four-star generals to finish the remainder of their terms but he might appoint new top-level generals if he thinks necessary."

"The slow process of promotions has been a major problem and we think there must be a breakthrough," he went onto say. "We might decide not to stick with the seniority system while pushing for a major reshuffle."

Then 8 four-star generals now serving as joint chief of staff, chiefs of the general staff and commanders might have to resign or will be transferred to other posts.

Except general Jang Jung-gil, chief of the general staff in the navy finishing his term later this month, joint chief of staff Lee Nam-shin, general Kim Pan-gyu, general Kim Jong-hwan, general Hong Soon-ho and general Suh Jong-pyo in the army are all set to finish their terms in October this year.

General Kim Dae-wook in the air force, appointed as chief of the general staff in March this year, has another full year to serve his term.

Since Minister of Defense Cho Young-gil said `I respect the remainder of the terms set for top military officers,` it has so far been speculated that a major reshuffle is not likely until October this year.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com