S. Korea holds inauguration ceremony for new defense command for 5 border islands

08:42, June 16, 2011      

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Soldiers salute during the establishment ceremony of the Northwest Islands Defense Command at the Marine Corps headquarters in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Provience of South Korea, on June 15, 2011. South Korea on Wednesday held an inauguration ceremony for a new military command, established to reinforce defenses on five frontline islands near its tense sea border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)

South Korea on Wednesday held an inauguration ceremony for a new military command, established to reinforce defenses on five frontline islands near its tense sea border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The establishment ceremony of the Northwest Islands Defense Command took place at the Marine Corps headquarters in Hwaseong, southwest of Seoul, with the attendance of the country's Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp, as well as other military leaders.

"The Northwest Islands Defense Command, based on the Marine Corps, is the first operational command composed of joint chiefs from the three branches of the military. If the enemy raises provocations, it will effectively manage joint forces and carry out punitive military operations boldly and sternly," said Colonel Kim Jung-eui of the Marine Corps.

During the ceremony, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin handed over the command flag to Lt. Gen. Yoo Nak-jun, commander of the Marine Corps, who has been assigned to serve as the chief of the newly created command.

The Northwest Islands Defense Command, in charge of protecting the five islands and the Northern Limit Line (NLL), is the first joint combatant command, comprising officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

After the hoisting of the command flag, a 17-gun salute was fired to celebrate the ceremony.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said in his speech to the ceremony that the new command strengthened the country's defenses on the five frontline islands.

"The Northwest Islands Defense Command will materialize perfect cooperativity by operating land, sea and air forces. We will develop it as a role model for the military's true joint operational command. With this, we will secure the military operational leadership in areas around the frontline islands and that will completely smash the enemy's continuous actions that neglect the NLL," said Kim.

The ceremony ended with demonstration flights by three F-15K fighter jets.

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Source:Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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