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New Marine Corps chief calls for greater defense role, military professionalism

Defense 16:39 April 12, 2019

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- Lt. Gen. Lee Seung-do took office as the new commandant of South Korea's Marine Corps on Friday, calling for the armed service to enhance its defense role and strengthen its military professionalism.

Lee, previously the head of the military readiness inspection group at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replaced Jun Jin-goo, who was appointed to the top post in April 2017. He will lead the Marines for a two-year term.

"The Marines should become professionals in combat by acquiring extensive military knowledge and honing their combat techniques as well as building the mental and physical strength that will enable us to respond boldly to any worst scenario," he said during his inauguration ceremony at the Marine Corps headquarters in Hwaseong, 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

New Marine Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. Lee Seung-do speaks during his inauguration ceremony at the service's headquarters in Hwaseong, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on April 12, 2019. (Yonhap)

New Marine Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. Lee Seung-do speaks during his inauguration ceremony at the service's headquarters in Hwaseong, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on April 12, 2019. (Yonhap)

Noting the rapid changes in the security environment, Lee also stressed the need to "optimize" the vision, goal and strategy for his service and expand the Marines' role to actively deal with those changes.

In addition, he touched on the importance of communication among troops and efforts to respect their human rights.

"We have to continue to create a culture at barracks where Marine (draftees) can prepare for their future with dreams and hope," he said.

Since starting his service as a second lieutenant in 1986, Lee has served in key Marine posts such as commander of the 2nd Division.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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