Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marine Corps to Be Beefed Up

The military is mulling an increase of the Marine Corps by 1,200 to 2,000 troops as part of plans to strengthen the defense of the West Sea islands and better react to North Korea's special forces. 

"We decided to increase the number of marines from the current 27,000 and are working out detailed plans," a Defense Ministry official said Tuesday. "We're looking at an increase of about 1,200 to 2,000." 

The extra troops will mostly be deployed on the northwestern front islands of Baeknyeong Yeonpyeong, Daecheong, and Udo, and some in a new command to be established in April. A source hinted that the command will be under the leadership of the Marine Corps, not of the Navy. 

The reinforcement of marines signals a shift in operational strategy for the islands against North Korean provocations from purely defensive to more offensive tactics.
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