South Korea increases defense spending 7 percent

Eagle1

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South Korea increases defense spending 7 percent
By Jennie Oh
Dec. 06, 2017


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South Korea increases defense budget for 2018 by 7 percent to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations. File Photo by Yonhap

South Korea will boost its military budget by 7 percent next year, the biggest yearly increase in nine years.

Amid heightening tensions following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test last week, the National Assembly passed the annual budgetary plan for next year early Wednesday, allocating almost $40 billion to defense spending.

More than a quarter of the budget will be spent to ramp up defense capabilities against nuclear and missile threats from the North, JoongAng Ilbo reported.
This includes the early development of the South's three-pillar defense system, composed of Kill Chain, the Korea Air and Missile Defense and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation programs.

The Kill Chain program aims to launch pre-emptive strikes on North Korea upon detecting an imminent missile attack.

If pre-emptive strikes fail, KAMD would shoot down the missiles before they reach their target, while the KMPR initiative would strike key control facilities and leadership targets in the North with missiles and air raids.

Nearly $4 billion was earmarked for the three-layered system, with $310,000 dedicated to a special mission brigade tasked with eliminating North Korea's leadership in contingent situations. The brigade, composed of 1,000 forces, was officially launched Friday.

To tackle local provocations from the North, $1.47 billion will be set aside to upgrade 230mm multiple rocket launchers, artillery-detecting radar and security around key facilities among other projects, Newsis reported.

In addition, some $2.68 million will be injected into research and development to acquire state-of-the-art weaponry, an increase of 4.2 percent from this year.
The military will also raise the monthly wage for its soldiers, doubling the rate for army sergeants from $197 to $371 in 2018.

However, the number of new non-commissioned officers proposed for next year was lowered to 2,470.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/12/06/South-Korea-increases-defense-spending-7-percent/6321512558405/?nll=1
The Moon Jae-in administration is pushing for a reform of army personnel by scaling up the country's arms system while reducing the number of troops.
 

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No plane, helicopter, for South Korea's Kim assassination unit
By Elizabeth Shim
Dec. 06, 2017

South Korea is expected to increase defense spending by 7 percent in 2018, but funds to supply a "Kim Jong Un decapitation unit" with an aircraft and a helicopter may not be available.

The defense budget approved Wednesday was raised to nearly $40 billion, but only about $312,800 will be used to supply reinforcements to the special brigade that could remove Kim from power, in the event of a strike against Seoul, News 1 reported.
That figure is also about 1 percent of the entire South Korean budget going to special units, about $24 million.

Most of the special unit budget is going toward the purchase of soundproof headphones, biometric equipment, fluoroscopes and other technology that are not categorically weapons.

Plans to upgrade the military's CH-47 Chinook helicopters by 2018 are also unconfirmed.

A transport plane for the decapitation brigade and a special helicopter may also no longer be within affordability.
A South Korean defense official who spoke to News 1 said it is likely any funds being allocated toward upgrades will be recorded "at the end of the year."

The relatively small budget for the assassination unit is raising concerns over whether the unit, part of the plan known as the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation will be able to carry out its operations in the event of conflict.

A second defense official told News 1 that even with the "delay" in "supplying a dedicated plane" to the unit, the unit can still be deployed with other aircraft.

The size of the brigade is about 1,000, according to the report.

The defense budget plans come at a time when South Korean President Moon Jae-in continues to stress his position on pre-emptive strikes.

Speaking at a luncheon for South Korean religious leaders, Moon said he "would not tolerate" any pre-emptive strikes on the North, and that he has communicated the policy to the United States, Yonhap reported Wednesday.

Moon also said he is planning to launch dialogues to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/12/06/No-plane-helicopter-for-South-Koreas-Kim-assassination-unit/4921512571125/?nll=1
 

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