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Pres. committee urges 24-month military service period

Posted December. 07, 2010 11:15,   


A presidential committee on national defense advancement proposed Monday to lengthen the term of compulsory military service to 24 months.

The government had planned to gradually decrease the period in phases from 22 to 18 months through 2014.

The committee also suggested the reinstatement of bonus points for men who served their country when applying for public sector jobs, a system scrapped after the Constitutional Court ruled the policy unconstitutional in 1999.

A 71-point proposal on national defense reform included these and other measures and was presented to the presidential office Monday.

The committee suggested raising the number of Marines stationed in the five Yellow Sea islands from 5,000 to more than 10,000 to beef up defense in the region and changing the Marines into a rapid response force.

It also proposed the combining of military administrative authority held by the general chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force with the right to military command held by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to give the general chiefs practical authority over military operations. It also suggested the establishment of a joint military command encompassing the armed forces.

To cut defense costs, the committee also proposed a committee on weapons demand with civilian participation and elimination of 44 of 440 military general-level posts.

Despite a series of provocations by North Korea this year, the committee did not suggest inclusion of the expression “North Korea is the primary enemy” in the annual defense white paper.