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South Korea faces serious defence budget squeeze

25th November 2021 - 03:48 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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The ROK Army’s plan to buy new attack helicopters has been put on ice thanks to this year’s budget cuts. (Gordon Arthur)

The armed forces in South Korea is facing its first annual defence budget cut in 15 years.

South Korea’s National Defense Committee of the National Assembly met on 16 November, and it agreed to cut the 2022 Ministry of National Defense (MND) budget by KRW446.4 billion ($401.8 million).

This means the total defence budget will reach only KRW54.781 trillion ($49.3 billion). The severest cuts come to the budget’s defence capability improvement category, which lost KRW612.2 billion to reach KRW16.724 trillion. This area is managed by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), which purchases and develops new weapons.

The legislature still needs to pass the revised defence budget. If approved, it will mark the first year-on-year decrease in …

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