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Bigger Defense Role For Korean Military

The role of U.S. troops in South Korea will inevitably change and the nation's armed forces must be ready to play a new role in case of such a change, President Roh Moo-hyun Wednesday (May 7).

Speaking at a luncheon he hosted for senior military commanders, Roh said that "the Armed Forces will honorably position itself as a defensive force to preserve the nation's security."

Roh said the South Korean military must be ready to step in and gain the confidence of the people in the event of a strategic change in the positioning of U.S. troops.

The luncheon was Roh's first meeting with senior military commanders meeting since his Feb. 25 inauguration. Some 120 military officers were invited.

"Our clear goal is to maintain a strong security posture to consolidate a peaceful framework for the peninsula and Northeast Asia," Roh said.

The military must be prepared to defend the nation against any threat and morale will be maintained by ensuring fair personnel affairs management, Roh added.

-ends- Military Urged to Shoulder Bigger Defense Role