December 05, 2023

South Korea to cut unification ministry budget for first time in five years

Drop in funding for ministry overseeing North Korea due to broader austerity push and fewer defector arrivals

South Korea’s Yoon administration seeks to cut the unification ministry’s budget for the first time in five years in line with its efforts to reduce government expenditures and the decreased numbers of North Korean defectors reaching the South, according to the ministry.

The cabinet passed a ministry budget on Tuesday seeking $1.08 billion (1.45 trillion won) for 2023, marking a 3.3% decrease from 2022 and the first time the government has cut the budget since 2018, before warming inter-Korean ties boosted the ministry’s profile.