Military of South Korea

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The Republic of Korea Armed Forces (hangul: 대한민국 국군; hanja: 大韓民國 國軍; Revised Romanization: Daehanminguk Gukgun) or ROK Armed Forces, is the armed forces of the Republic of Korea. It consists of the following branches:

And:

Created in 1948, following the division of the Korean Peninsula by occupying Soviet and U.S. forces, the Republic of Korea Armed Forces is one of the largest standing armed forces in the world with a reported personnel strength of 3,695,000 in 2008 (655,000 active force and 3,040,000 regular reserve).[1]

The ROK military forces are responsible for maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic, but often engage in humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts nation wide. More recently the ROK military began increasing its participation in international affairs, acknowledging its role and responsibility as the fifteenth economic power in the world in terms of GDP. The ROK military has participated in various peacekeeping operations, and counter-terrorism operations.

Contents

History

The South Korean armed forces were largely constabulary forces until the outbreak of the Korean War. It was heavily damaged by North Korean and Chinese attacks and in the beginning relied almost entirely on American support for weapons, ammunition and technology. During South Korea's period of rapid growth, the military expanded accordingly, benefiting from several government-sponsored technology transfer projects and indigenous defense capability initiatives. Modernization efforts for the ROK military have been in place since the 1980s. The GlobalSecurity.org website states that "in 1990 South Korean industries provided about 70 percent of the weapons, ammunition, communications and other types of equipment, vehicles, clothing, and other supplies needed by the military." Today, the South Korean armed forces enjoys of a good mix of avant-garde as well as older conventional weapons.of Korea has one of the highest defense budgets in the world, regularly making the list of top fifteen (as of 2008) (see List of countries by military expenditures). Its capabilities include many sophisticated American and European weapon systems, complemented by a growing and increasingly more advanced indigenous defense manufacturing sector. For example, by taking advantage of the strong local shipbuilding industry, the ROK Navy has embarked on a rigorous modernization plan with ambitions to become a blue-water navy by 2020.

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