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