The Republic of Korea (ROK) Army is to deter war with North Korea. The army consists of around 560,000 troops, 2,360 tanks, 5,180 pieces of field artillery, and 2,400 armored vehicles. This size is maintained through conscription. South Korean men must complete 21 months of military service between the age of 18 and 35. The Republic of Korea maintains a well equipped army, making it one of the most powerful in Asia.
Two of the three Army Commands defend the region along the demilitarized zone and around Seoul. These commands have numerous ground forces stationed along major pathways from North Korea to Seoul. They are trained and prepared for surprise and high-speed attacks. In a move to improve efficiency, the ROK Army is merging those two commands in 2014. The third Field Army Command secures the surrounding coastline on this peninsula nation.
There are other efforts underway to trim the troop size down to around 516,000 troops by 2020. That loss in force size is intended to be obtained by increasing the technological abilities of the army's military equipment. The country hopes that a more sophisticated collection of weapons and vehicles will make the army quicker to react and decrease the need to maintain such a large number of active troops.