U.S. official urges Korea to increase defense bill

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U.S. official urges Korea to increase defense bill

To enhance the effectiveness of deterrence, Korea should increase its investment in defense, Deputy U.S. Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said here yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after a series of meetings with South Korean officials and lawmakers, Mr. Wolfowitz said, “South Korea can do more; my country does more.”
He pointed out that Korea spends 2.7 percent of its gross national product on defense, and said, “Doing more in a relatively moderate increase can make a huge difference.”
He met with South Korean business leaders earlier and said the United States plans to enhance more than 150 programs over the next four years, representing a substantial investment in ROK-U.S. alliance.
He said the United States is confident that Korea “will make comparable and complementary investments to improve its own capabilities.”
Over the weekend the U.S. military announced an $11 billion program to enhance its capabilities in Korea. A more advanced version of the Patriot surface-to-air missile system will be deployed and the “technology-enhanced” Stryker Brigade Combat Team will be in Korea on rotating deployment.
Mr. Wolfowitz denied that deploying additional missiles would aggravate tension on the Korean Peninsula. There would be no need for Patriot missiles if North Korea had not built missiles and threatened its neighbors, he said.

by Kim Young-sae

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