Skip to comments.Seoul sharply cuts budget for boosting USFK defense capacity
Posted on 11/11/2013 2:50:27 AM PST by TexGrill
SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has sharply reduced next year's budget for building up the defense capability of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) amid the ongoing talks on how to share the cost of keeping American troops here, a defense ministry report showed Monday.
According to the report submitted to Rep. Park Joo-sun, South Korea has set aside a total of 799.7 billion won (US$749.6 million) in next year's budget to co-finance USFK's defense activities in the country.
South Korea's annual defense cost contribution to USFK covers four main sectors -- defense capacity building, military facility upgrading, logistical supports and labor costs.
For defense capacity building costs next year, Seoul earmarked only 7.2 billion won, or 0.9 percent of the total contribution, according to the ministry report. It marks a 72.3 percent cut from this year's budget allocated for the defense capacity building costs.
The 2014 budgets for the other three sectors were all lifted, the report showed. The country earmarked 297.3 billion for USFK's 2014 labor costs, up from 235.5 billion won this year, while the costs for logistical supports were lifted to 153.8 billion won from 140.5 billion won and the costs for military facility upgrading increased from 235.5 billion won to 297.3 billion won.
The lawmaker pointed out that the latest change shows more South Korean funds are being funneled to finance USFK's military base relocation plan, rather than to beef up military capabilities.
The report came as the two allies are preparing to hold their seventh round of negotiations next week in Washington to renew the Special Measure Agreement (SMA) on splitting the costs of USFK's defense activities here.
(Excerpt) Read more at english.yonhapnews.co.kr ...
Seoul needs creativity in its defense strategies. That is, it has to think outside the box and come up with ways to defeat the northern strategy, as well as to hit them in their most vulnerable areas.
To start with, North Korea has 7 major dams, 4 of which are used to generate hydroelectric power. If this and other power sources are neutralized, winter will be devastating to North Korea.
North Korea also gets major resupply from China by rail. This means track and bridge vulnerabilities.
Just some examples.
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