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Defense chief stresses need for 'realistic, practical' defense innovation

Defense 10:50 November 17, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup called Thursday for "realistic and practical" defense innovation amid South Korea's push to draw up a military modernization plan in the face of evolving North Korean threats.

Lee made the call during a meeting of top defense officials on the "Defense Innovation 4.0" initiative designed to incorporate cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), into military operations to make the armed forces stronger and smarter.

"Now that the basic plan for Defense Innovation 4.0 has reached a phase of concretization, (Lee) called for the establishment of a well-thought-out plan," the defense ministry said in a press release.

The ministry plans to complete the basic plan by the end of this year, it added.

The innovation initiative has been driven by the need to harness latest technologies, such as AI and robotics, to address potential troop shortages that can be caused by the country's low birthrate, and minimize battleground casualties.

Thursday's meeting, the fourth of its kind, was attended by some 60 officials, including Vice Minister Shin Beom-chul, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum and the top commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (C) and top military commanders attend a meeting on a defense innovation initiative at the defense ministry in Seoul on Nov. 17, 2022, in this photo released by Lee's office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (C) and top military commanders attend a meeting on a defense innovation initiative at the defense ministry in Seoul on Nov. 17, 2022, in this photo released by Lee's office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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