S Korea establishes military command for western border islands

13:41, June 14, 2011      

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South Korea has set up a military command to guard against security threats on five frontline islands near a disputed sea border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), officials in Seoul said Tuesday.

"With the creation of the command, our defense capabilities for the five border islands have been further strengthened," JCS spokesman Col. Lee Bung-woo told reporters.

Marine Corps head Lt. Gen. Yoo Nak-jun will lead the new command, whose operations will be directed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), according to officials.

The establishment of the command is part of the government's plan to beef up security on the border islands deemed vulnerable to potential DPRK attacks, drawn up after the DPRK's shelling last November on one of them killed four South Koreans. South Korea has deployed more troops and weapons to the frontline islands since the artillery shelling.

South Korea has demanded the DPRK apologize for the fatal sinking of its warship and shelling of a border island last year, which altogether killed 50 South Koreans. The DPRK has repeatedly denied its involvement in the sinking and claimed its attack on the island was provoked by military drills between Seoul and Washington near a disputed western sea border.

Source: Xinhua
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