Park insists on cut in military duty – JoongAng Ilbo.
Despite disgruntlement by the Ministry of National Defense, President-elect Park Geun-hye’s transition team is committed to her pledge to cut mandatory military service by three months, sources told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.
The presidential transition committee yesterday received briefings from the ministry on various issues including the upcoming wartime operational control handover from the United States to Korea. One of the key topics was Park’s promise to cut conscription from the current 21 months for the Army to 18 months.
The ministry was skeptical about the plan, but the transition team was adamant.
“Taking into account the current tensions between the two Koreas, shortening the military service period is expected to create a vacuum in operational capabilities,” a senior ministry official said. “We informed the transition committee that it should be handled as a long-term project because it requires hiring about 30,000 additional noncommissioned officers.”
You can read more at the here. It claims that the US Military is made up of 60% Officers and NCOs while Korea only has around 20%. The bottom line is if she’s going to keep
her campaign promise and there’s going to be some kind of strategic gap, they are not going to want to cut US troop numbers any time soon. Given the trend of moving toward a RIF and budget cuts in general for the Pentagon with Afghanistan winding down, it’s going to be very interesting seeing how the US responds over the next few years to this if she goes through with it.
(Note: This is a guest post by Kangaji who has his own K-blog that can be read at the link.)