August 21, 2019 13:22
The Defense Ministry has spent little more than half of its budget earmarked for the defense against nuclear and missile attacks from North Korea. In the case of a special brigade supposed to carry out so-called "decapitation" strikes against the North Korean regime in a war, it has only spent a nugatory five percent.
Last year the ministry spent 62.6 percent of that budget, according to a report the ministry submitted to Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Baek Seung-joo on Tuesday. It spent W18 million out of the earmarked W337 million, a mere 5.3 percent (US$1=W1,210).
The brigade was in theory founded in 2017 to neutralize the North Korean leadership and destroy its weapons of mass destruction. But the military has sat on its hands since the two Koreas signed a hasty military deal in September 2018.
Recently, it has actually diverted some equipment procured for the brigade to another unit which is tasked with reconstruction assistance in faraway South Sudan.
"The ministry has acted as if it were promptly responding to recent missile provocations by the North," Baek said. "But I doubt if it has any real determination to respond to the North's nuclear weapons and missile threats given that it hardly spent a penny of the budget allocated for improving weapons against the North Korean threat."
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