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Sun Oct 13, 2019, 05:36 PM

S. Korean army to curtail forces by 100K amid shrinking population

S. Korean army to curtail forces by 100K amid shrinking population
Yonhap News/ UPI Oct. 11

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- South Korea's army said Friday it plans to reduce the number of troops by around 100,000 over the next three years in the face of a shrinking population and as part of its reform initiatives to create a smaller, smarter military.

By 2022, the number of soldiers will be slashed to about 365,000 from the current level of around 464,000, according to an army report presented to the National Assembly for an audit.

The move is in line with the defense reform under which the government seeks to reduce the number of troops to cope with fewer potential draftees and shorter mandatory service terms for conscripts.

The country's low birthrate is likely to lead to a decrease in the number of male citizens in their 20s to less than 250,000 after 2022, compared to around 350,000 as of 2017, according to government data.



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