South Korea's new defense minister took office Friday, reaffirming his pledge to reform and beef up the military.
"In order to win the trust of the people, (the military) should go beyond a simple defense reform to create brand new armed forces," Defense Minister Song Young-moo said in his inauguration speech.
After being tapped to lead the Ministry of National Defense a month earlier, President Moon Jae-in officially appointed him to the post Thursday despite the opposition's allegations of misconduct.
The former chief of naval operations also stressed the military's self-reliant defense capabilities, saying, "The security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula is as grave as ever."
"Against such a backdrop, we should pass down to our next generations a strong military that can rely on itself for the defense of our own fate," Song said.
The Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea is posing missile and nuclear threats to the peace of the peninsula, as well as the whole world, the new minister said, underlining that South Korea's military needs to be strong enough to subdue the threats.
"I will strive to make our military one that is feared by the enemy and trusted by our people as the president's philosophy indicates," he said. (Yonhap)
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