South Korea to recruit additional 20,000 soldiers

Seoul, Oct 27 (IANS) The South Korean government on Tuesday agreed to recruit an additional 20,000 soldiers over the next two years, as an effort to steadily maintain its standing forces.

The government will spend an extra budget of 60 billion won ($53 million) to recruit an additional 10,000 officers in 2016 and another 10,000 in 2017, The Korea Herald reported.

“Currently, some 250,000 men are conscripted annually and there is enough facility to accommodate an extra 10,000,” Kim Sung-chan of the ruling Saenuri Party said.

The military reform comes after the country faced an increasing number of young men waiting to be recruited amid worsening youth unemployment.

Some 52,000 men are currently waiting to fulfill their military duty, according to data from the Military Manpower Administration.

The government will also push forward with increasing the ratio of non-commissioned officers with specific technical expertise and skills, Kim said.

The number is expected to be increased from the current 4,000 to 6,000 annually.

South Korean men are required to complete nearly two years of military service.

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