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Defense ministry to set up defense reform team

All News 07:00 June 18, 2017

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry will soon launch a task force to craft a draft military reform plan in line with President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledges, officials said Sunday.

Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk will lead the group to be created later this month.

It plans to draw up a report on defense reform measures and report it to a related special committee expected to be established under the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae or the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

On the stump, Moon vowed to bolster the firepower of the local armed forces so that they can assume a bigger role in national defense based on the alliance with the United States.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a visit to the defense ministry on May 17, 2017. (Yonhap)

He also pledged to cut the mandatory service period of rank-and-file soldiers as part of efforts to streamline the military.

Other major tasks include the early establishment of the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system and the Kill Chain pre-emptive system, and the takeover of wartime operational control of South Korean troops from the U.S.

In an apparent show of his resolve to reform the military, Moon nominated Song Young-moo, a former navy chief, as defense minister.

Critics say South Korea's 625,000-strong military is excessively dominated by the Army with nearly 500,000 troops.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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