Südkorea — New military unit for international peace missions

A spe­cial Kore­an troop con­tin­gent was cre­at­ed on July 1 that will assume Seoul’s peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions over­seas when the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty requests help.

Army Spe­cial Task Force Head­quar­ters in Incheon
Source: MND, Repub­lic of Korea

Sol­diers under the new­ly-estab­lished Inter­na­tion­al Peace Sup­port Force salute to begin its over­seas peace­keep­ing mis­sions dur­ing an inau­gur­al cer­e­mo­ny at the Army Spe­cial Task Force Head­quar­ters in Incheon. The unit, com­posed of 1,000 troop­ers, will be able to be dis­patched with­in one month after a request is received an approved. 

The 1,000-strong band, named the Inter­na­tion­al Peace Sup­port Force, was inau­gu­rat­ed with a cer­e­mo­ny at the Army Spe­cial Task Force Head­quar­ters in Incheon, the Defense Min­istry said. 

Kore­an Army Chief of Staff Hwang Eui-don attend­ed, along with 350 gov­ern­ment dig­ni­taries and mil­i­tary personnel. 

Pre­vi­ous­ly, Kore­an sol­diers sent over­seas for peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions were select­ed from exist­ing forces. Hav­ing a unit ded­i­cat­ed to over­seas oper­a­tions will make Korea’s peace­keep­ing activ­i­ties more effec­tive, the min­istry said. The min­istry will also cre­ate a 2,000-strong back­up unit for the force. 

At the inau­gur­al cer­e­mo­ny, Hwang said the cre­ation of a per­ma­nent force for over­seas dis­patch will improve Korea’s image internationally. 

“We will get ful­ly ready for requests for the dis­patch of over­seas troops any­time through prac­ti­cal train­ing pro­grams,” said Hwang. 

Nick­named Onnuri, a Kore­an word mean­ing “the entire world,” the Inter­na­tion­al Peace Sup­port Force will be able to be dis­patched with­in one month after a request is received and approved, the min­istry said. 

While home, the troops will learn basic strate­gies for per­form­ing in over­seas assign­ments. When they get an assign­ment over­seas, they will get an addi­tion­al train­ing in the lan­guage and cul­ture of their destination. 

The min­istry said the Kore­an troops already deployed over­seas on peace­keep­ing mis­sions will be grad­u­al­ly replaced by the Onnuri team. 

Min­istry of Nation­al Defense[MND], Repub­lic of Korea 

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