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A Stand-by Unit for Dispatch Overseas

Posted November. 21, 2004 23:26,   


It is reported that the Defense Ministry has decided to establish a stand-by unit for dispatch overseas.

“Until now, units for dispatch overseas have been organized only when requested or necessary. But now, the government considers organizing a standing military unit in charge of Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) of the UN so as to promptly respond to the future needs,” an official from the ministry said on November 21.

The ministry’s consideration is concerned with South Korea’s participation in the Stand-by Arrangement System of the UN PKO. The system is designed for member nations to promptly deploy their PKO troops in a disputed region within an agreed time in the event of a request by the UN. Currently, 78 nations are participating in the system, and since 1995, South Korea has taken part in the first level, the lowest of all three levels of the system.

The capacity of South Korea’s PKO, which was reported to the UN, is a total of 800, including one infantry battalion (540), one engineering company (130) and medical units (70-80). Accordingly, a stand-by unit for overseas dispatch is expected to be about 800.

“A stand-by unit is closely related to the improvement of the nation’s strength and international status. Additional laws regarding unit organization and dispatch procedure are also under consideration,” added the official.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com