South Korea Plans 9% Increase in 2008 Defense BudgetSep 27, 2007 19:58 UTC
In 2005, Republic of Korea (ROK, aka. South Korea) Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said that he aimed to increase the defense budget from 2.8% of the total gross domestic product to 3.2% by 2008, a 12.5% increase in relative terms even before economic growth is factored in. In 2006, the government announced plans to cut troop levels from 680,000 to 500,000 by 2020, and funnel more money to modern weaponry. This related move is partly driven by weapons costs that rise much faster than inflation as each new generation is fielded, and partly by the realities of South Korea’s birth rate and future population pyramid.