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(LEAD) Moon urges efforts to build 'stronger' military to deter N. Korean provocations

All News 14:35 December 08, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES with outcome of the meeting)

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in called on his top military officers Friday to build up the country's defense capabilities to overwhelm and prevent North Korea from making any reckless provocations.

During a meeting with some 150 military commanders, he also directed them to prepare for an early transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean troops from the United States.

"Right now, our military faces a very serious situation where North Korea's nuclear and missile threats are fast becoming more real and advanced," the president said at the luncheon at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

"The military's role is more important than ever. The military is our last line of defense against North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile threats," he added.

It marked Moon's second meeting with top military commanders since taking office in May, and the first of its kind following a personnel reshuffle that replaced the chiefs of all three divisions of the armed forces and other military commanders.


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