The Ministry of Defense plans to increase the military budget from next year as a way to cover the hike in salaries of soldiers. As pledged by the President Moon Jae-in, the ministry thinks it's possible to raise their salaries if the share of military budget in the GDP would rise from the current 2.4 percent to 3.0 percent.
Skeptical views, however, still remain in and outside the military communities if it would be possible to increase the share of military budget in the GDP up to the 3-percent level.
Thus far, the nation's military budget has been increased by about 4 percent per year reflecting the growth in consumer prices and the needs to introduce state-of-the-art weaponry.
The growth in the military budget, however, has been kept in tandem with the pace of GDP growth. Since 2014, the military budget has been kept at a level equivalent to 2.4 percent of the total GDP.
To boost the share of military budget in the GDP up to 3 percent, the amount of military budget should be increased by more than 10 trillion won next year.
This year's military budget was earmarked at 40.3 trillion won, which is a level equivalent to 2.4 percent of the nation's GDP. To boost the share up to 3 percent, the budget should be increased up to more than 50 trillion won.