Archived posts from category ‘Far East Round-Up’

09.02.11
Kyle’s Far East Round-Up

South Korea
In response to threats of invasion of South Korean-held islands near the Northern Limit Line, South Korea is beefing up its Marine Corps. The Republic of Korea Marine Corps currently numbers 27,000 personnel, organized into two divisions and one independent brigade. The ROK Marines are responsible security of the West Sea islands, one of which, Yeonpyeong Island, was attacked by North Korean artillery last Fall. South Korea plans to increase the size of its Marine Corps by 1,500 to 2,000, and stand up a new military command to oversee defense of the islands. Applications for the ROK Marines is up 37 percent since the attack on Yeonpyeong, with 3,500 applicants in the month of December alone, all competing for a total of 977 slots.

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02.02.11
Kyle’s Far East Round-Up

South Korea
The five Somali pirates captured during the Samho Jewelry rescue operation are to be airlifted to South Korea to face trial on charges of piracy. South Korea wanted to hand the pirates over to a neighboring country, such as Oman or Yemen, but no country was willing to take them. The pirates are reportedly illiterate, and South Korean forces on hand did not have a Somali language speaker, making communication difficult.

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20.01.11
Kyle’s Far East Round-Up

Japan
Last week’s visit to Japan by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was a marked contrast to his 2009 visit. In 2009, Gates told the Japanese (and in particular the new Democratic Party of Japan government) that the 2006 agreement on a partial relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to other parts of Okinawa was “the best alternative for everyone” and warned the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama that Washington would not accept a renegotiation. Hatoyama was forced to resign less than a year later, in no small part due to the fact that he had staked his credibility on seeking an alternative to the 2006 agreement.

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05.11.10
Kyle’s Far East Round-Up

China
China and Thailand began three weeks of joint military training between Chinese marines and the Thai marine corps. The modest exercise, involving 115 Chinese and 188 Thai marines, will involve 20 days of “skill demonstrations, mixed training, joint research and alcohol testing.” This follows years of China courting the current military-backed government in Thailand for stronger military ties. Chinese troops are also training with Romanian mountain troops in the mountains of Kunming, in Yunnan Province. Both come a month after People’s Liberation Army Air Force air exercises with the Turkish air force, China’s first ever with a NATO state.

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