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Song Young-moo takes office as new defense minister, vows military reform

Updated: 2017-07-14 20:00:32 KST

Song Young-moo is now the 45th defense minister of South Korea, and as minister he emphasized the importance of reform and vowed to revitalize the South Korean military.

"We will build a new military through reform and gain more support from the people."

He also emphasized the need for Seoul to take back wartime operational control over its forces from Washington, stressing that the country needs to be strong enough to counter North Korea's threats on its own.

"We need to strengthen our independent national defense so future generations can protect the people without the help of other countries."

Song also emphasized the need for six other reforms to the armed forces, including improving military culture, increasing the number of female personnel and improving the defense industry.

The new defense minister is also expected to conduct a reshuffle of top brass as early as next week.

Seven out of eight four-star commanders are up for replacement, including the Army Air Force chiefs of staff, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In his last words as minister, former defense chief Han Min-koo said that he would take all responsibility for any mistakes and added that credit for the achievements under his watch belongs to everyone at the ministry.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.

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