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Defense Ministry: 623 Trillion Won Needed for National Defense Reforms

Defense Ministry: 623 Trillion Won Needed for National Defense Reforms

Posted October. 26, 2005 07:33,   


Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said yesterday, “We estimate that a total of 623 trillion won will be needed for national defense reform plans until 2020 based on the government’s joint inspection team.”

This figure has been reduced by 60 trillion won compared to the 683 trillion won estimated last month by the Defense Ministry’s announcement on the National Defense Reform 2020.

In an interview with Korea Times, a Korea-based English newspaper, Yoon said, “Compared with the existing estimation, military strength investment and ordinary expenditures sections will decrease by 43 trillion won and 17 trillion won, respectively,” adding, “An annual increase by an average of nine percent in national defense budgets for the next 15 years will be needed to secure funding for these plans.”

The joint inspection team that consists of experts and related ministries, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Planning and Budget, and the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, has conducted estimating the exact scale of budgets necessary for the national defense reform plans.

Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry announced a basic bill on national defense reform that contains specific contents addressing it.

The bill drawn up by a government-party meeting on October 24 includes the military structure reorganization, curtailment of manpower, barrack life development, and national defense reform plans. In particular, the bill stipulates a National Assembly confirmation hearing for appointment of the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, reduction of standing troops, and an increase of the percentage of executive in the military system.

A Defense Ministry official said, “Once this bill is in place, we expect continuing and consistent defense reforms to be possible,” adding, “We are planning to submit this bill to a regular National Assembly session as soon as possible.”

This bill, however, only includes the provision that the country guarantees a stable obtainment in budgets necessary for national defense reforms through a smooth cooperation with governmental ministries and related agencies, and that does not stipulate specific measures for securing budgets.

In response, some inside and outside the military point out that this bill does not reflect reality.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com