Austin Bay writes in Real Clear Politics about low birthrates affecting South Korea’s military future. In short, the troop pool is shrinking along with American budgets, but threats from the Norkos and yes, China, are not going anywhere.
Seeing that the future is written in the census, savvy South Korea’s defense ministry recently proposed some thoughtful, long-term changes to structuring and manning its military. By 2022, troop strength could shrink from 640,000 to 522,000, a personnel reduction of 20 percent. The smaller force will be modernized and reorganized.
Though it will become smaller, the cost will remain about the same, as the plan calls for more elite troops and higher pay to encourage retention.