SEOUL, Dec. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — President Moon Jae-in has pointed out the need for South Korea to have defense capabilities not only to deter North Korean threats but also to cope with its geopolitical position “stuck between great powers,” his aide said Sunday.
Moon made the remarks during a meeting with his secretaries last month while commenting on the country’s project to acquire a light aircraft carrier by 2033, Park Soo-hyun, his chief secretary for public communication, wrote on Facebook.
“Our defense capabilities are needed not only for deterrence against North Korea, but also for the autonomy of our country stuck between great powers,” Moon was quoted by Park as saying.
“We should be equipped with defense capabilities befitting such a geopolitical location,” he added.
The president also said that the strengthening of defense capabilities is directly linked to South Korea’s economy, as the country continues to expand its footholds in the global defense markets.
The Navy’s push to secure the light aircraft carrier has reflected South Korea’s ambitions to bolster its defense beyond its shores in a region surrounded by major military powers like China, Russia and Japan.
After the National Assembly passed a budget for the carrier project earlier this month, the country is expected to begin a process for the vessel’s basic design in the latter half of next year, the defense ministry has said.