Both countries have taken financial hits due to COVID-19 outbreak
Thailand and South Korea have announced that they will be cutting their 2020 defence budgets by THB18 billion (USD557 million) and KRW 904.7 billion (US$733 million) respectively to allocate more funds to COVID-19 relief measures, according to the Janes and Army Technology.
Thailand’s cut reduces its 2020 defence budget to about THB213.7 billion, decreasing it by nearly 8% compared to the planned military expenditure of THB231.7 billion.
This was confirmed by Royal Thai Army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree in a press conference on April 22.
The amount slashed will be allocated for a stimulus package aimed at alleviating the impact of the coronavirus crisis in the country.
So far, around 2,900 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Thailand.
Meanwhile, in South Korea, the revision of the defence budget shows a 1.8% decrease from the initial KRW 50.15 trillion budget to KRW 49.25 trillion (US$40.34 billion). The outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea has induced an economic downturn.
To fund emergency relief payments, the government has decided to revise the 2020 defense budget for the second round of the 2020 Supplementary Budget Proposal. South Korea has reported nearly 11,000 COVID-19 cases.