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Korean Government Sending 119 Rescue Workers to New Orleans

Korean Government Sending 119 Rescue Workers to New Orleans

Posted September. 05, 2005 07:06,   


In an effort to support the restoration work for damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Korean government has decided to send military forces and equipment on September 4 if the U.S. government requests it.

The government decided the above at a ministerial meeting regarding the damage by the hurricane in the U.S., which was held under the presidency of Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and attended by ministers from relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA), Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), and Ministry of National Defense (MND) at the Office of the Prime Minister in Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul at 5:00 p.m. on that day.

The government is studying measures to send reinforcements and equipment for restoration work based on an engineer corps instead of sending military forces for maintaining the security of New Orleans that was hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina. Unlike the dispatch of massive combat troops, the dispatch of forces for humanitarian aid could proceed without the consent of the National Assembly. The Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, Shin Hyun-don, said, “However, it’s important what the U.S. thinks of Korea’s plan.” It was reported that the U.S. has yet to ask for the dispatch of troops from Korea. In case the U.S. does not make a request, Korea will not dispatch troops.

In addition, at the meeting, the government agreed to dispatch a group of 30 workers from an international search and rescue team under the National 119 Rescue Services and to launch a campaign for raising aid and funds through the Korean National Red Cross.

Hyung-June Park lovesong@donga.com