The South Korean Ministry of Defence (MoD) has requested an increased budget for next year to ensure better combat readiness for its armed forces.
Yonhap News Agency has reported that the ministry has sought an annual budget of 33.5tn won ($31.3bn) for 2012, which is a 6.6% increase from the 31.4tn won ($29.4bn) allocated for 2011.
Of the 33.5tn won, the ministry plans to assign 4.3tn won ($4.02bn) to fortifying the western islands with the latest weaponry and improving guard posts to better shield them from potential North Korean provocations.
The ministry has also allocated 1.9tn won ($1.78bn) to avoid a potential security void in 2015, more than 3.4tn won ($3.18bn) has been allocated to aid policy decisions as part of defence reform and another 3.5tn won ($3.28bn) to improve the welfare of troops.
"Our request was largely focused on building a military that's ready for battle and can win immediately. We will also try to improve the welfare of our troops and boost their morale, and to keep pushing for defence reform," the ministry said.
In 2015, South Korea will take over wartime operational control of its troops from the US, which has held wartime command of South Korean troops since the beginning of the 1950-53 Korean War.