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Defense chief visits wartime command bunker to encourage allied troops

Defense 17:40 August 23, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup visited a wartime command bunker in a city south of Seoul on Tuesday to encourage South Korean and U.S. troops engaging in a regular combined military exercise, his ministry said.

The minister's trip to CP Tango, or Command Post Theater Air Naval Ground Operations, in Seongnam came a day after the start of the Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise set to run thorough Sept. 1.

In a meeting with the troops, Lee cited a famous quote from the movie "Top Gun: Maverick" to highlight the importance of the role that each service member plays in a major battle, according to the ministry.

"It's not the plane, it's the pilot," he said, stressing human beings, like commanders and other military personnel, are "decisive" factors in winning a war.

The minister also called for South Korean and American troops to work as "one team" to develop combined operational capabilities.

Nestled in a mountain, the granite bunker complex is a primary command and control center for South Korean and U.S. forces in the event of an armed conflict. It is known to be strong enough to survive a tactical nuclear attack.

The complex boasts high-tech equipment for communications linking major U.S. bases on the peninsula and elsewhere in the world, and information gathering and analysis for around-the-clock situational awareness for top commanders.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (3rd from L), and South Korean and U.S. military officers pose for a photo during Lee's visit to a wartime command bunker south of Seoul on Aug. 23, 2022, in this photo released by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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