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Korea to Slash the Number of Top Brass

By Yu Yong-weon | March 20, 2018 11:06

The Defense Ministry wants to slash about 100 generals over the next four years from the top-heavy roster of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, according to a government source on Monday.

About 90 generals will be lost to the Army alone, which has a whopping 313. The ministry plans to put the reduction plan in a report to Cheong Wa Dae next month after gathering opinions in the military this month. 

"The Moon Jae-in administration originally sought to cut the number of top brass by about 80 as part of a defense reform plan," the source said. "But Defense Minister Song Young-moo wants to slash another 20 Army generals."

The plan is focused on the Army, which is seen as wielding undue clout and enjoying undue privileges in the military overall.

Little resistance is expected because the ministry has already been carrying out a reform plan that aims to cut troop numbers by 118,000 to around 500,000 and revamp military organizations by 2022, which means many command positions will disappear anyway.

Korea has 6.4 Army generals per 10,000 troops, close to the 6.6 of the U.S., the world's biggest military power. 

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