Lee Calls for Re-examination of 'Threat from Outside'

      May 14, 2010 10:43

      President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday called on the military to fundamentally re-examine "the threat from outside." Lee was chairing the first meeting of a newly created security reform panel.

      "First, revise the 2020 Defense Reform program in a realistic manner," Lee said. The reform program was formulated by the Roh Moo-hyun administration on the assumption that the threat from North Korea will diminish as relations between the two Koreas improve. Participants said the remark apparently referred to the need for a reassessment after the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan, in which North Korea is increasingly suspected of having had a hand.

      Lee strongly criticized military red tape. "The generals and admirals should free themselves from bureaucracy," he said. "A firm spiritual armament of military commanders is needed."

      He also slammed the failure of cooperation between different branches of the armed forces. "I think the problem lies in cooperation among the Army, Navy and Air Force," he said. He also called for "fairer personnel administration" -- a reference to cronyism in the military -- and "synergy effects from mutual cooperation."

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