Defense budget hits 40 trillion won for the first time since its military’s foundation, focusing on North Korean nuclear and missile response
44.5 billion won for 425 projects to introduce military satellites
Arranged 135.9 billion won for long-range air-to-ground guided missiles
Concentrated on early construction of Kill Chain and KAMD
On December 5th, the Ministry of National Defense announced that the 2017 defense budget had passed the National Assembly, amounting to 40 trillion 334.7 billion won.
This represents a year on year increase of 1535.2 billion won, or 4%, and it is first time that the defense budget bill was not reduced by the National Assembly since 2011, when the budget was increased due to the Bombardment of Yeonpyeongdo.
The defense budget for next year shows a 4% rate of increase, which is higher than 3.7%, the rate of increase in government gross expenditure, and it also marks the first time since its military’s foundation that the budget hit 40 trillion won. An amount of 12 trillion 197 billion won has been allocated to improving defense capacity for the acquisition and development of a weapons system, an increase of 4.8% compared with the previous year, while 28 trillion 137.7 billion won has been allocated to the force operation expenses for maintenance of troops and existing fighting power, an increase of 3.6%.
In particular, the National Assembly took into account the escalating security circumstances related to the North Korean nuclear and missile threats during the deliberative process, and reorganized 38 billion won of the force operation expenses to the defense capacity improvement expenses.
The operating cost of fighting power has been reduced by 115.6 billion won for 14 projects; however, it was increased by 77.6 billion won for 10 projects, leading to a reduction of just 38 billion won compared to the government bill. Major reduction projects are 22.5 billion won for cost of equipment and fuel, 28 billion won for equipment maintenance cost due to regular unused cost and 20 billion won that can be reduced through the input of engineering power for tearing down of unused facilities.
Compensation cost of mobilization training was increased from 7,000 to 10,000 won, and the budget for establishment of a mobilization forces command, realization of public utility fees, etc. was increased and reorganized.
Cost of defense capacity improvement has been reduced by 166.9 billion won for 22 projects, while it has been increased by 204.9 billion won for 13 projects, resulting in an increase of 38 billion won compared to the government bill.
In addition, budgets for the 425 project to introduce a military satellite and mass production of the FA-50, establishment of the Tactical Information Communication Network (TICN) and mass production of K2 tank have been reduced by 20 billion won for each one due to project delays and more. On the other hand, the National Assembly increased the budget necessary for building its capacity to respond to the North Korean nuclear and missile threats by 166.8 billion won, which includes 58.8 billion won for long-range air-to-ground guided missiles, 21.3 billion won for ballistic missile early-warning radar, and 38 billion won to improve the capability of the KF-16.
Ultimately, the budget consists of 44.5 billion won for the 425 project for core target detection and identification through military reconnaissance satellite and unmanned drones, 700 million won for unmanned aircraft for medium altitude reconnaissance, and 100 million won for additional lease of military satellites in the area of Kill Chain next year. As well, to secure striking capability, 135.9 billion won has been allocated for long-range air-to-ground guided missiles.
In addition, ballistic early warning radar-II has been given a budget of 30 billion won, as a gesture of Korea Air Missile Defense (KAMD) prosecution, while 283.7 billion won has been allocated to improve the capability of Patriot missiles.
An MND official said, “The budget for responding to North Korean nuclear and missile threats has been greatly increased through the National Assembly’s resolution. We will construct the Kill Chain and KAMD fighting power early based on it.”
Source: MND Korea