South Korea plans to cut the number of active military personnel by about 125,000 to 500,000 troops within the next four years as part of a new round of defence reforms, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul said in a statement on 21 January.
The ministry also announced a plan to gradually reduce the mandatory service period of non-commissioned soldiers to 18 months from the current 21 months.
South Korea had approximately 625,000 troops, including 490,000 army service members, as of December 2016, compared with North Korea’s 1.28-million strong armed forces, according to the MND’s 2016 Defense White Paper.
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