Seoul’s defense ministry has asked for a five-and-a-half-percent increase for next year’s budget which would amount to nearly 43.seven-billion U.S. dollars the highest ever amount if approved.

“The government’s proposal is aimed at strengthening not only South Korean military defense capabilities, but also at strengthening its competence against rising non-traditional security challenges including infectious diseases and acts of terror.”

The defense ministry says it will set aside some 14.three-billion dollars for arms purchases and projects to boost defense capabilities.
It will also earmark some 30-billion dollars for operational costs the highest on-year growth in a decade of seven.one-percent.
In order to better deal with North Korea’s nuclear program and weapons of mass destruction the ministry has allocated nearly four.nine-billion dollars.
Some 762-million dollars are annexed for the development of domestically produced fighter jets, the KF-X project while nearly 442-million dollars are set aside for the development of a three,ton next-generation submarine.
A total of 80.seven-million dollars is being appropriated to better prepare for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, such as procuring face masks, medical equipment and setting up facilities for virtual meetings.
The ministry also plans to boost the welfare of service personnel a vital part of its “Defense Reform 2.oh” scheme.
For instance, the monthly wage for rank-and-file service members is to increase 12-and-a-half percent next year from the previous year.
With the increase, an army sergeant, for example, will receive five-hundred-11 dollars a month starting next year.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.

Reporter : jiyeonkim@arirang.co.kr

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