In-Bum Chun, the former deputy commander, said he believes it will take the army five years to make a significant improvement in the preparedness of the troops, and it will need the help of the United States in the meantime.
"The only worse thing than fighting with allies is fighting without them,” Chun said in a news brief. “We are really at the stage where we need the Americans to help us for the next five years.”
Chun cited a 60% turnover rate in the South Korean army every year and said he knew of troops who had not experienced live fire training in a decade. Live fire training has been deemed crucial for preparing soldiers for war.
“We just can’t manage the kind of level of training that we used to be amazed that others require,” Chun said.
Chun was speaking during a panel at the U.S. Army’s Land Forces Pacific conference in Honolulu. Duyeon Kim, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said the situation with Korea is more complicated today than it was five years ago because the world has gotten more complicated.
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