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NATIONAL DEFENSE REFORM ACT

Act No. 8097, Dec. 28, 2006

Amended by Act No. 10214, Mar. 31, 2010

Act No. 10217, Mar. 31, 2010

Act No. 14609, Mar. 21, 2017

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to foster the most advanced and strongest elite armed forces by providing for basic matters concerning national defense operating system, the reorganization of the military structure, and the development of a military base culture so that the Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea can actively address changes in the environment of national security and domestic and overseas conditions, such as nuclear tests by North Korea, as well as changes in aspects of war following the development of science and technology, through the continuous reform of national defense.
 Article 2 (Basic Concepts)
The basic concepts of national defense reform are to reinforce national security, and furthermore, to contribute to international peace by expediting the following tasks and by fostering the national armed forces in unity with citizens:
1. Expansion of the basis of civilian participation in enforcing national defense policies;
2. Reinforcement of functions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the balanced development of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, taking into account aspects of future wars;
3. Improvement of the military structure in a technology-intensive manner;
4. Reform to a low-cost high-efficiency national defense management system;
5. Firm establishment of a new military base culture in harmony with social changes.
 Article 3 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows:
1. The term "national defense reform" means a continuous course of enhancing the efficiency, economic feasibility, and future-orientedness of military organizations for the improvement and development of the comprehensive national defense operating system, based on information and science technology;
2. The term "national defense operating system" means a legal and institutional mechanism of managing and operating all organizations related to national defense, including armed forces;
3. The term "military structure" means the organization and configuration of entire armed forces related to national defense and the performance of military missions, which shall serve as a system through which the Army, Navy, and Air Force shall be interconnected;
4. The term "expansion of the basis of civilian participation" means that the State''s national defense policies shall be materialized in military aspects under the principle that the Ministry of Defense shall efficiently control and support the Armed Forces and civilian participation shall be expanded in the course of making decisions on national defense policies, while special characteristics and expertise of civilian public officials and military personnel shall be kept balanced and harmonized with each other;
5. The term "military force system" means armed forces or military forces with objectives and functions of carrying out wars, which form a whole structure in which manpower for national defense, military weaponry systems, equipment, tactical doctrines, military training system, and infrastructure shall be integrated;
6. The term "integration" means that military strengths of the Army, Navy, and Air Force shall be integrated and developed effectively in order to maximize the synergistic effects of total fighting capabilities according to aspects of future wars for which high-tech science and technology are to be mobilized.
 Article 4 (Government''s Fundamental Obligations)
(1) The Government shall develop the infrastructure and environment for continuously and consistently promoting national defense reform.
(2) The Government shall endeavor to secure financial resources required for national defense reform in a stable manner to develop the infrastructure and environment for national defense reform under paragraph (1) and replenish and control human resources necessary therefor at the optimum level.
CHAPTER II PROMOTION OF NATIONAL DEFENSE REFORM
 Article 5 (Establishment of Basic Plan for National Defense Reform)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall establish a basic plan for national defense reform with regard to the innovation of national defense operating system, the reorganization of the military structure, and the improvement of a military base culture, subject to prior approval of the President, in order to efficiently promote national defense reform.
(2) The basic plan for national defense reform shall include the following matters:
1. Objectives of national defense reform;
2. An implementation plan for national defense reform for each area and tasks;
3. Matters concerning national defense operating system and financial resources related to the promotion of national defense reform;
4. Other important matters necessary for the promotion of national defense reform.
(3) The Minister of National Defense shall establish and implement an implementation plan for national defense reform for every five years in implementing the basic plan for national defense reform and shall analyze and evaluate the development of the Republic of Korea-Unites States Alliance, the tendency of changes in inter-Korean military concerns, the domestic and international situations of national security, and results of the advancement of national defense reform in the middle of, and at the end of, every five-year period to reflect results of such analysis and evaluation in the basic plan for national defense reform.
(4) Necessary matters concerning the establishment of an implementation plan for national defense reform under paragraph (3) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 6 (National Defense Reform Committee)
The National defense Reform Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") shall be established under the jurisdiction of the Minister of National Defense in order to continuously and consistently promote national defense reform and deliberate on important matters related to national defense reform.
 Article 7 (Committee''s Functions)
The Committee shall deliberate on the following matters:
1. Evaluation of domestic and international situations of national security for national defense reform;
2. Matters concerning the establishment of the basic plan and implementation plans for national defense reform under Article 6;
3. Matters concerning the budget required in connection with national defense reform;
4. Matters concerning the enactment and amendment of Acts and subordinate statutes related to national defense reform;
5. Matters concerning the adjustment of standing and reserve troops;
6. Other matters brought by the Chairperson with respect to the promotion of national defense reform.
 Article 8 (Composition of Committee)
(1) The Committee shall be comprised of not more than 20 members, including one Chairperson.
(2) The Minister of National Defense shall take the chair of the Committee, while committee members shall be commissioned by the Chairperson from among Vice Ministers and higher ranking public officials of appropriate central administrative agencies, but experts in national defense or security may be included among committee members, if necessary.
(3) Necessary matters concerning the operation of the Committee shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 9 (Reporting, etc.)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall report to the President and the National Assembly every year on matters regarding national defense reform, including results of the advancement of national defense reform during the previous year and the future plan therefor.
(2) If it is necessary to make a decision for pan-governmental cooperation and support in promoting national defense reform, the Minister of National Defense may report it to the State Council or the National Security Council.
CHAPTER III ADVANCEMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE OPERATING SYSTEM
 Article 10 (Development of Basis for Civilian Participation)
The operating structure of human resources in national defense operating system shall be developed to make the expertise and distinct characteristics of civilian human resources and military personnel complementary to each other for the purpose of actively addressing changes in the environment for the national security.
 Article 11 (Composition of Public Officials in Ministry of National Defense)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall conduct personnel management to ensure that the ratio of non-military public officials who hold a position in the Ministry of National Defense increases annually, except for the positions that require expertise of military personnel in active service.
(2) Matters necessary for the recruitment of non-military public officials for each year and for each class according to the composition ratio of public officials of the Ministry of National Defense under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 12 (Personnel Hearings for Appointment of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
A person nominated by the President as a candidate for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall undergo a personnel hearing held by the National Assembly.
 Article 13 (Expansion of Utilization of Civilian Human Resources)
(1) Each military unit and organ of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea shall expand the utilization of civilian human resources, including civilian military employees, in order to enhance expertise and continuity in affairs related to national defense.
(2) Matters necessary for expanding the utilization of civilian human resources for each area and class in each military unit and organ of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 14 (Direction of Development of Operating Structure of Human Resources for National Defense)
The State shall reorganize the military structure to a technology-intensive level in order to appropriately respond to the future environment of national security, promote smooth operation and management of technology-intensive military units, and improve and develop the structure of human resources for national defense to actively address quantitative and qualitative changes in military human resources.
 Article 15 (Securing of Excellent Military Human Resources and Enhancement of Expertise)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall secure excellent military human resources, train military human resources to enhance the expertise of human resources, and develop educational and training systems therefor.
(2) The Minister of National Defense shall expand the recruitment of volunteer troops who have the capability to serve a specialized area or in a specialized technical area or who can serve in an extraordinary area, such as a remote, or isolated area or an island.
(3) The Minister of National Defense may enforce a paid volunteer system in order to secure excellent skilled troops.
(4) Further details regarding the enforcement and operation of the paid volunteer system under paragraph (3) shall be provided separately by another Act.
 Article 16 (Expansion of Utilization of Women Troops)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall annually increase the number of women troops up to 7/100 of the prescribed number of officers and 5/100 of the prescribed number of noncommissioned officers respectively by 2020, in order to reinforce fighting capabilities by expanding the utilization of female human resources and utilizing excellent female military human resources.
(2) Matters necessary for increasing the ratio of women troops in the Army, Navy, and Air Force respectively for each year in utilizing female military human resources shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 17 (Expansion of Responsible Operating Agencies, etc.)
(1) The Minister of National Defense may designate and operate a responsible operating agency separately for each area and function of combat service support in order to enhance expertise and efficiency of national defense or entrust such services to the private sector.
(2) Necessary matters concerning the designation and operation of a responsible operating agency for each area of combat service support under paragraph (1) and the entrustment of such services shall be provided separately by another Act.
 Article 18 (Promotion of Officers)
(1) The power of the appointing authority concerning the promotion of officers shall be exercised impartially in accordance with fair procedures.
(2) When the Minister of National Defense selects officers eligible for promotion, he/she shall take into consideration the qualities and capabilities of individuals and the degree of contribution to the military, but shall endeavor to guarantee balanced opportunities for promotion and the stable demand and supply of officers.
 Article 19 (Assignments of Officers to Ministry of National Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, etc.)
(1) Positions of officers who shall serve in the Ministry of National Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and combined joint task forces must be assigned to officers who satisfy requirements for each position, such as integration and expertise.
(2) Upon receiving a request from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Minister of National Defense shall designate positions demanding integration and expertise, among positions of officers in the Joint Chiefs of Staff and combined joint task forces, as joint positions.
(3) Each Chief of Staff shall preferentially grant a specialized qualification, such as a joint speciality, to an officer who satisfies the requirements under paragraph (1) so that such an officer can serve in a joint position.
 Article 20 (Recommendation of Assignments to Chiefs of Staff, etc.)
The Minister of National Defense shall make a recommendation or request on the position of each Chief of Staff or Vice Chief of Staff, impartially taking into consideration the branch of the military service and specialty of each officer, so that an officer who has experience in various areas can be appointed.
 Article 21 Deleted. <by Act No. 10217, Mar. 31, 2010>
CHAPTER IV BALANCED DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY STRUCTURE, MILITARY FORCE SYSTEM, AND ARMY, NAVY, AND AIR FORCE
 Article 22 (Direction of Development)
The State shall improve the quantitative and conventional structure of military power, based mainly on troops, to a qualitative and technology-intensive structure of military power, based mainly on the independent collection and management of information and modernized high-tech equipment, and develop it to efficiently address various threats.
 Article 23 (Improvement of Military Structure)
(1) Higher level military organizations, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Army Headquarters, the Navy Headquarters, and the Air Force Headquarters, shall improve and develop their functions and organizations so that consolidated military strength can be displayed to the utmost with civilian participation.
(2) The Ministry of National Defense shall reinforce and develop the functions and organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so that it can improve its capabilities of defense planning and carrying out operations and enhance its integration.
(3) The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall develop and advance the capabilities of joint operations and the joint military educational system related thereto and shall establish a system for smooth consultation with each Chief of Staff. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff may present his/her opinion to the Ministry of National Defense regarding joint operations support and may recommend an adjustment with regard to functions and integration of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, accordingly.
(4) Each Chief of Staff shall maintain and develop the distinct characteristics of the armed forces under his/her command, reduce and adjust the steps of intermediary command elements to improve fighting capabilities of each military unit and the efficiency of operations.
 Article 24 (Development of Military Force System in Areas of Weaponry and Equipment)
The introduction of major weapons and equipment into the military force system shall be promoted simultaneously in connection with strategic concepts and the reorganization of military structure in accordance with the phased implementation plan.
 Article 25 (Adjustment of Scale of Standing Troops)
(1) The scale of standing troops of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea shall be adjusted to the target level of 500,000 troops by 2020 in connection with the reorganization of the military structure.
(2) The assessed threats of North Korea''s weapons of mass destruction and conventional military force and the current status of the establishment of inter-Korean military confidence and the advancement of peace shall be taken into consideration in establishing the target level by phases to achieve the target level under paragraph (1) and shall be reflected in the basic plan for national defense reform once every three years.
(3) The standing troops under paragraph (1) of the Army, Navy, and Air Force shall maintain the optimal military force system and shall maintain the most appropriate composition ratio to maximize integration through balanced development of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
(4) The State shall pay appropriate compensation to officers, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers who are discharged from active service as a consequence of the reorganization of military structure and shall endeavor to prepare measures for stabilization of their livelihood.
(5) Necessary matters concerning the scale of standing troops for each year and the composition ratio of the Army, Navy, and Air Force under paragraph (1) and (3) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 26 (Maintenance of Adequate Ratio of Officers)
(1) The scale of officers of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea, including officers, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers, shall be arranged to maintain a level of not lower than 40/100 of standing troops of the Army, Navy, and Air Force respectively by 2020, annually, in connection with the reorganization of technology-intensive military structure.
(2) Necessary matters concerning the target of reorganizing the composition ratio of officers under paragraph (1), including officers, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers, for the Army, Navy, and Air Force respectively for each year shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 27 (Adjustment of Scale of Reserve Forces and Keeping Elite Reserve Forces)
(1) The State shall rearrange the organization of reserve forces, improve the training system, and modernize weapons, equipment, and war reserve stocks to develop reserve forces into elite forces that can replace standing troops.
(2) The scale of reserve forces shall be reorganized and adjusted by 2020 in proportion to the scale of standing troops.
(3) Necessary matters concerning the scale of reserve forces for each year and the development of reserve forces shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 28 (Transfer of Mission of Vigilance along Coasts, etc.)
(1) The rearrangement of systems shall be promoted year after year to transfer the mission of vigilance that has been performed by the Armed Forces along the coast, as well as at a port, a harbor, an airport, a national facility, or a specific guarded area, to a public security agency or the institution responsible for the management and operation of the relevant facility.
(2) Necessary matters concerning the transfer of the mission of vigilance under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 29 (Balanced Formation of Joint Chiefs of Staff, etc.)
(1) Human resources dispatched from the Army, Navy, and Air Force respectively to the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall be managed through balanced formation and rotating assignment so as to maximize integration and consolidated military strength.
(2) In no event shall both positions of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff be assigned only to either the Army, Navy, or Air Force simultaneously, but one of them shall be assigned to the Army.
(3) Common positions of military personnel in the Joint of Chiefs of Staff shall be assigned to the Navy and Air Force equally, while twice as many of such common positions must be assigned to the Army as those assigned to the Navy or Air Force, while common positions for Colonels and higher ranking officers shall be, in principle, assigned to the Army, Navy, and Air Force in rotation. <Amended by Act No. 10214, Mar. 31, 2010>
(4) Necessary matters concerning the designation of essential positions and common positions established under the Joint Chiefs of Staff in order to maximize integration and consolidated military strength under paragraph (1) and the assignment of such common positions shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 30 (Balanced Formation of Units under Direct Control of Ministry of National Defense, etc.)
(1) In principle, positions of commanders of military units, organs, and joint units under the direct control of the Ministry of National Defense shall be assigned in rotation to the Navy and Air Force equally, if such positions require General-class officers, while three time as many of such positions must be assigned to the Army in rotation to the Navy or Air Force. <Amended by Act No. 14609, Mar. 21, 2017>
(2) Matters necessary for duty rotation shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
CHAPTER V IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY BASE CULTURE
 Article 31 (Direction of Development)
The Minister of National Defense shall enhance soldiers' pride in military service by guaranteeing their fundamental rights and minimizing causes of cultural conflicts related to military service and improve and develop a military base culture so that they can faithfully carry out their mission as soldiers.
 Article 32 (Guarantee of Soldiers' Fundamental Rights, etc.)
(1) The Minister of National Defense shall improve and develop environment for the service of military personnel so that soldiers' fundamental rights are guaranteed.
(2) The Minister of National Defense shall establish and enforce policies through which soldiers can form a healthy sense of value as democratic citizens, enjoy opportunities for self-development, and raise the social reputation of military service.
(3) The Minister of National Defense shall establish and implement a comprehensive plan for developing the system for the management of military units and improving the level of welfare of soldiers so that they can carry out their missions faithfully.
(4) Necessary matters concerning the guarantee of soldiers' fundamental rights and the improvement of their welfare shall be provided separately by another Act.
ADDENDA
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Applicability to Management of Assignments of Lieutenant Generals and Higher Ranking Officers) The management of assignments of Lieutenant Generals and higher ranking officers under Article 21 shall be applied to persons who are promoted to Lieutenant Generals or higher ranking officers on or after this Act enters into force.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 10214, Mar. 31, 2010>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 10217, Mar. 31, 2010>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) and (3) Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14609, Mar. 21, 2017>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 and 3 Omitted.