October 04, 2010 10:04
A presidential committee is proactively looking at reinforcing Marine Corps personnel and equipment as part of defense reforms being mulled since the Navy corvette Cheonan sank in a North Korean torpedo attack in March.
A military source on Sunday said the presidential committee for defense reform recently selected 53 tasks, one of which is to reinforce the Marines.
The committee plans to develop the Marines into a strategic mobile force so that they can launch strong retaliatory strikes if the North should provoke a war.
It plans to increase the number of Marines, now at about 27,000, and provide them with helicopters and other equipment. No decision has been made on how many more troops will be added, but some committee members suggested that the corps should have at least one more brigade to make up for troop cuts in the Army.
Other members proposed that the reinforced Marine Corps could be used to boost South Korea's international role, including UN-led international peacekeeping operations or disaster relief, a source said.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com