February 24, 2024

Yoon Suk-yeol seeks record defense budget to counter North Korean threats

4.6% increase in South Korean military spending comes despite administration’s belt-tightening policy

The Yoon administration will request a 4.6% increase to national defense spending for next year, raising South Korea’s defense budget to a record-high $42.4 billion (57.1 trillion won) as it seeks to counter North Korean threats.

Seoul has secured increasingly larger defense spending for the past several years, including a 3.4% increase in 2021 — the final budget from the Moon Jae-in administration. The largest annual defense budget increase under Moon was 8.2% in 2019.