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Ministry of National Defense to invest 300 trillion and 700 billion won over a five year period

Ministry of National Defense to invest 300 trillion and 700 billion won over a five year period to build an ‘innovative and strong force’

The military unveiled its mid-term defense plans for 2021 to 2025:
Making elite troops through shift from a troop-intensive structure toward a technology-intensive structure;
Conducting drastic expansion of the collection of surveillance and reconnaissance data;
Reflecting requirements for ‘strong military and responsible defense’

Ministry of National Defense

On August 10, the Ministry of National Defense unveiled its blueprint for the mid-term defense plans for the period 2021 to 2025, which includes plans for military buildup and force employment for the next five years. The ministry plans to build an innovative strong force for the future, as well as successfully complete the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative through a shift toward a technology-intensive military structure.

“We will improve defense capability and reinforce force management by investing a total of 300 trillion and 700 billion won (annual average increase of 6.1%) for the next five years,” a ministry spokeperson said on Monday, announcing that the military has established its mid-term defense plans for the period 2021 to 2025 in order to build “a competent national security and strong defense” that is “impregnable.”

Accordingly, 100 trillion and 100 billion won (33.3%) will be allocated to defense force improvement expenses, in order to build a strong force through the reinforcement of a high-tech force during the period of the mid-term plans. 200 trillion won and 600 billion won (66.7%) will also be spent on force management, in order to maintain stable defense management after the reform of both troop and force structure.

These mid-term plans are divided into three broad areas; troop programs, defense capability improvement, and force management. First, troop programs will be focused on the shift from a troop-intensive structure toward a technology-intensive structure to create elite troops. The ministry explained that a high efficiency approach to the defense manpower structure will be adopted by shifting to a manpower structure focused on skilled officers and expanding civilian staff despite a reduced number of troops.

Defense capability improvement will be focused on firmly supporting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, with the aim of reinforcing the forces based on high-tech scientific technologies to respond proactively to omnidirectional security threats. Regarding surveillance and reconnaissance, the video·signal data collection capability will be expanded significantly, and missile forces will be advanced both quantitatively and qualitatively. Ground forces will have overwhelming firepower, as well as being mobilized and networked. As for the naval·landing forces, dynamic maritime (water, underwater, air) operations capabilities will be expanded in a balanced way, in order to react to omnidirectional threats. The air·space forces will also be equipped with rapid aerial navigation detection and precision strike capabilities, securing dominance of the air·space within the Korean Peninsula war zone.

Moreover, combat effectiveness will be improved by protecting the lives of combat soldiers performing their duties in a high-risk environment through the establishment of a manned·unmanned mixed-use combat system that applies fourth industrial innovation technologies. To prepare against non-traditional threats, such as terror, cyber terrorism and natural disasters, systems and supplies that are customized to each operational force will be reinforced, and proactive reaction capabilities will be strengthened. The defense research and development (R&D) capabilities will also be enhanced to build a smart and strong military based on high-tech defense science technologies.

Force management will be focused on maintaining stable defense management and ensuring morale-boosting service conditions despite the reform of the troop structure. First, force support will be strengthened to maintain fighting capabilities, and security capabilities will be reinforced to ensure the completeness of security operations. The training·education and defense management will also be advanced and made more efficient by stably supporting the reform of the defense manpower structure and using fourth industrial revolution technologies. Specifically, the military will increase the trust of the people by improving the welfare of soldiers to ensure their productive military service and the welfare of officers to allow them to concentrate on combat duty, building a comprehensive medical system that protects the safety of soldiers and the people, and managing resident-friendly military facilities.

“The mid-term plans reflect our goal of ‘strong military and responsible defense,’ including ensuring the normal promotion of core forces to meet goals of the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative and conditions for the transfer of wartime operational control,” a ministry spokesperson said, vowing “We will continue to cooperate with the finance ministry to successfully push for the new defense plan.”

Reported by Yim Chae-moo < >

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