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S. Korea’s 2018 budget increases spending on welfare and defense

S. Korea’s 2018 budget increases spending on welfare and defense


The budget for next year is more than 7 percent
bigger than last year. There are major spending increases in welfare. Defense is up too, by 7 percent, but some
experts say it should be higher because of the threat from North Korea. Our Ji Myung-kil breaks it down for us. Here’s what’s in the 2018 budget:
The government has allocated 133 billion U.S. dollars for welfare, 59 billion dollars for
education, 40 billion for defense, 35 billion for R&D and social overhead capital, 18 billion
for agriculture, 17 billion for public safety,… and the rest for other expenses related to
such things as industry, the environment, culture, and foreign affairs. The 2018 budget is over 7-percent, or nearly
26 billion dollars, higher than the budget for 2017. Some noticeable areas where spending has been
increased compared to the original plans include an extra 1-billion dollars for expanding the
country’s transportation and traffic facilities, a 175-million increase in social insurances,
117 million dollars for earthquake disaster support, and 19 million dollars of support
for medical trauma centers. Concerning North Korea’s growing nuclear and
missile threats,… South Korea’s defense budget has increased
by 7-percent compared to last year. But experts say this is not enough. (Korean)
“It’s far from enough. North Korea is an existing threat to us. They can fire missiles at us at anytime. It’s urgent for South Korea to deploy interceptor
missiles, but if we look into the defense budget… the budget has been allocated into
the 2020’s for the completion of installing South Korea’s missile defense system.” South Korea’s military is pushing for the
so-called “three-axis defense scheme” — referring to the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system,
using a THAAD or Patriot missile defense system to counter North Korean missiles, and taking
retaliatory measures using ballistic missiles. The world’s top military spenders in 2016
were the United States, China and Russia, while South Korea was in tenth place. When compared with OECD nations… South Korea ranked sixth, just behind Germany. Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.

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