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Military to mobilize reservists in case of N.K. provocations

The Cabinet has passed a new ordinance on war preparation to allow the military to mobilize some reservists and civilian vehicles in case of localized provocations, officials said Thursday.

This move comes as South Korea is striving to reform its armed forces and bolster defense capabilities in the wake of North Korean provocations including the sinking of the corvette Cheonan and the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

The military has so far been allowed to mobilize reserve forces when a full-scale war or quasi-warfare conditions take place, officials at the Ministry of National Defense said. The Cabinet passed it on Tuesday.

Under the new rule, if North Korea launches additional provocations, the South can mobilize reservists and vehicles that belong to the units affected by the provocations.

When a situation to which the new ordinance can be applied occurs, the ordinance will immediately be handed over to the National Assembly and then to the president for approval, officials explained.

The number of reservists and vehicles to be mobilized under the new rule tops 100,000 and 2,000, respectively.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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