The South Korean Ministry of National Defence will eliminate 30 general-grade officers by the end of 2015, as part of the defence reform plan to streamline the armed forces, a defence official has confirmed.

“The ministry is planning to make a 15% cut in the number of general-grade officers by 2020 to make the top command structure the military slimmer, but more efficient,” said the official.

The official also added: “Another 30 general-grade officers will be reduced by 2020 when the ministry completes the changes in the organisational structure of the military units.”

The top command structure reforming will take place in stages until December 2015, when South Korea will retake wartime operational control over its troops from the US.

South Korea has been undertaking major reforms to increase its deterrence power amid heightened tensions across the Korean peninsula following a spate of incidents last year.