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Korea to send 39 troops to PKO exercise in Mongolia

South Korea will send 39 troops to Mongolia later this week for an annual international peacekeeping exercise, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday.

At the invitation of the Mongolian military, the troops will participate in the 13-day “Khaan Quest” drill that will begin in an area some 56 kilometers west of the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator on Sunday.

The exercise was created in 2003 to enhance peacekeeping missions in the event of international conflicts. The U.S. and Mongolia have jointly led the drills which include field training, command post exercises and medical support missions.

In this year’s exercise, some 900 troops from 11 countries including South Korea will join the exercise.

The South Korean military has joined the exercise since 2006. In 2009, it dispatched 27 troops including a marine platoon. Last year, it sent nine troops there.

Seoul has deployed its troops to a number of peacekeeping operations including the U.N.-led missions in conflict-laden regions. As of November 2010, nearly 1,200 troops are operating in 17 regions in the world including Lebanon, Haiti, Afghanistan and Nepal.

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