S. Korea will actively join global PKO missions: military
Maj. Gen. Oh Jeong-il, who is in charge of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's overseas troops dispatch, speaks during a recent interview.
SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will step up its participation in global peace-keeping operations, the military official in charge of foreign troops dispatch said Friday, as the country marks the three-year anniversary of PKO deployment in the violence-hit South Sudan.
With the 5th rotation of forces of the 290-strong "Hanbit" unit arriving in the South Sudanese town of Bor this week, South Korea marks three years since the dispatch of the rebuilding forces.
The Hanbit unit was dispatched to the town, located some 170 kilometers north of the capital Juba, in July 2011 while the newly-independent South Sudan was reeling from decades of civil war.
Since the deployment, the South Korean unit has been tasked with a variety of rebuilding and peace-keeping missions under the wing of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan, including infrastructure building in the war-torn country as well as other humanitarian aid activities.
As the latest South Sudanese Civil War broke out in December 2013, "the Hanbit unit perfectly carried out its top priority UN mission of protecting civilians," Major General Oh Jeong-il said in an interview with a pool reporter, later released by the Defense Ministry.
It was very effective in forming the crucial bond between the unit and the local people for Hanbit to have continued its humanitarian assistance operations for about 17,000 Bor war refugees even at the height of the civil war, Oh noted.
The South Korean unit is now at a critical crossroads in re-defining its role in the U.N. efforts to help South Sudan stand on its own feet, the major general stressed, adding that transferring South Korea's experience of speedy economic development would be the main focus of future operations.
"As our country owns the asset of being an economic success model, the role Hanbit could play in contributing to the development of South Sudan would be the transfer of development experiences," Oh noted.
As part of those efforts, the military will seek tighter collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the official development assistance body, to better provide the services, he said.
As South Korea's other foreign-dispatched units, "Ahk" in the UAE and "Dongmyeong" in Lebanon, mark four and eight years of dispatch respectively, the country plans to reset strategies on its overseas troops deployment in a way it could maximize effectiveness, he said.
Through the peace-keeping and rebuilding operations abroad, the South Korean military is amassing capacities and experiences to deal with any crisis situation in the Korean Peninsula, the general said. "With combat-readiness position firmly maintained against North Korea, the military will proactively take part in the overseas troops dispatch to contribute to the international society."
Source : Yonhap News Agency (Corée du Sud)
Relayé par H.G