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S. Korea's new Marine Corps chief stresses combat spirit

All Headlines 15:05 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The new commander of South Korea's Marine Corps took office on Thursday calling on his 30,000 troops to be ready to "mercilessly retaliate" against North Korea's provocations.

In a change-of-commander ceremony, Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo pointed out that the elite forces have played a key role in the front-line defense of the country.

"The Marine Corps has protected places most difficult to defend but should be done so at all costs" from Baengnyeong Island near the western sea border with North Korea to Pohang, Ullleung Island and Jeju Island, he said in his speech at the event held the headquarters of the Marine Corps in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

He urged his unit to maintain full readiness on the basis of combat-oriented spirit to "mercilessly retaliate" against an enemy's provocation.

Dignitaries who attended the ceremony included some lawmakers, provincial government officials, former Marine Corps leaders and Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson who commands the III Marine Expeditionary Force of the United States.

Having served as the head of the Marine Corps' 2nd Division, Jun is known for leading a successful crackdown on Chinese ships illegally fishing in the West Sea.

Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo, new commander of South Korea's Marine Corps, in a photo provided by his office. (Yonhap)

He succeeded Lt. Gen. Lee Sang-hoon, who is retiring after his two-year tenure.

In a meeting with reporters days earlier, Lee stressed the need for the country's marines to have more transport means including amphibious landing vehicles and other equipment.

"I think the adequate supply of such platforms is more important than the number of marines for effective combat operations," he said. "Certainly, our marines are short of independently possessed equipment that can be mobilized promptly in case of contingency situations."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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