SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Army will begin a recruitment process next week for 21 new posts specializing in science and technology research as part of its technology-based reform drive, its officials said Thursday.
Through the Military Manpower Administration, the Army plans to start receiving applications next Wednesday for the rank-and-file positions focusing on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, drones, big data and other cutting-edge technologies.
An applicant should at least be enrolled in a master's degree course in a science field.
The Army introduced such technology-focused posts last September and picked 14 current active-duty soldiers for the research posts.
"We expect that this military science and technology soldier program will contribute not only to the development of the Army, but also to the development of the country as a whole," a senior Army official was quoted as saying in a press release.
In recent years, the armed service has been striving to capitalize on new technologies from the so-called fourth industrial revolution to overcome a series of challenges, including the planned troop drawdown and uncertainties in the security landscape.
Seoul plans to pare down its total troop number to 500,000 by 2022, from the current 599,000, under a reform plan aimed at creating a smaller yet stronger military based on new technologies from the fourth industrial revolution.
The number of the Army personnel, currently at 464,000, will be curtailed by 118,000, including 66 general-grade officers.
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