Army Lacks Ships to Take Troops to West Sea Islands

      November 30, 2010 13:36

      Inflatable rubber dinghies may have to be used to transport troops to other islands in the West Sea from Baeknyeong in case of further attacks from North Korea because of a shortage of troop transport vessels.

      The rubber boats can carry seven to nine soldiers and travel at around 40 km/h, but are vulnerable to high waves and there are not enough of them to transport the large numbers of troops needed in an emergency on neighboring islands such as Daecheong and Socheong. Daecheong Island is around 7 km from Baeknyeong and takes around 20 minutes to reach by boat.

      "Following the bombing on Yeonpyeong Island, we inspected the level of preparedness in the West Sea islands and found that Daecheong and Socheong are especially vulnerable," a government source said. The Navy's Chamsuri patrol boats are stationed on Daecheong and other islands, but they are incapable of transporting troops. Daecheong and Socheong do not have K-9 howitzers either and the coastal artillery stationed there was removed 10 years ago.

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