By Lee Haye-ah
SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday he is considering establishing a Strategic Command in the military to more effectively operate the three branches of the armed forces.
Yoon made the remark during the inaugural meeting of the presidential defense innovation committee, which was established under his administration to support its goal of a stronger military built on cutting-edge technologies.
"I am considering establishing a Strategic Command in order to strengthen the jointness of the three branches of the armed forces and combine and effectively operate the fighting capabilities spread across the services," he said at the presidential office, where he was joined by other committee members, including National Security Adviser Cho Tae-yong and Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup.
"We need to make extensive changes to the military's operating system, software and hardware, at a level seen during a military's founding," Yoon said.
"Only when there are extensive changes at a level similar to the second founding of a military can we build a strong, combat-centered military that can win and give confidence to the people," he added.
The committee is made up of 11 members, with the president as chair and eight civilians, including former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.
Yoon outlined security challenges posed by North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons program, saying the government's aim is to establish an "overwhelming response capability" against the threat.
He also said the government aims to transform the military's structure and make it fit for the internal and external strategic environment, so that it can "fight and win," or so that no one will "dare to challenge us to fight."
"In the face of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, we must reinforce our military's active deterrence response capabilities," Yoon said, referring to reconnaissance assets and high-precision and high-power strike capabilities, among others.
"More than anything we must possess the overwhelming military power to deter North Korea's provocation mentality in advance," he said.
(LEAD) Family of 5 found dead in 3 separate locations
Presidential office to discuss with China on Xi's possible visit to S. Korea
Russian FM to visit Pyongyang next month as follow-up to Kim-Putin summit
S. Korea, U.S. stage joint naval drills in East Sea amid N.K. threats
(Asiad) S. Korea beat Bahrain in men's football to cap perfect run through group phase
5 years after signing, future of inter-Korean military accord unclear
In desperation, N. Korea, Russia turn to one another for mutual assistance rivaling U.S.-S. Korea cooperation
Yoon seeks to carve out bigger role for S. Korea in Indo-Pacific, world
Despite gov't assurance, seafood safety woes spread in S. Korea over Japan's Fukushima plan
S. Korea-U.S.-Japan summit outcomes herald deeper, consistent security cooperation against N. Korean, other challenges: analysts