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South Korea lifts military spending 5% in 2023 budget proposal

First annual plan under Yoon faces tumult in National Assembly

South Korean soldiers work on their self-propelled artillery vehicles during a military exercise in Yangju, South Korea, on May 25.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea aims to curb fiscal expansion and boost defense spending under President Yoon Suk-yeol's first annual budget proposed Tuesday, but turmoil in the ruling and opposition camps alike could hinder its speedy passage in the legislature.

The proposed 2023 budget amounts to 639 trillion won ($473 million). The 5.2% rise from the initial 2022 budget is slower than the 8.7% average under former President Moon Jae-in, with Yoon's conservative administration highlighting a focus on fiscal discipline.

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