South Korea Bulks Up Military Might While Preparing for PeaceJune 14, 2018
Wall Street Journal:
South Korea is quietly upgrading its military hardware, acquiring new fighters and missiles, and weighing purchases of nuclear submarines, even as Seoul pursues a peace track with North Korea that has brought Pyongyang to direct talks with the U.S.
The moves reflect the country’s ambition to create a force able to fight with minimal outside help, and concerns that its U.S. ally may not be in South Korea forever—a point highlighted by President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancellation of future joint exercises and talk of bringing troops home.
The military upgrades are focused on the air force and navy, traditionally seen as serving a less critical purpose than the army, which would play the primary role in countering any North Korean land invasion. The North’s ground forces number more than a million men, with 7.62 million in reserves, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry.