The UAE will be receiving the first 10 of a planned 130 special forces troops this week.  They will ostentatiously be there to train UAE special forces.  So, the UAE publication “The National” appears to have taken an interest in the recent history of South Korean overseas troop deployments.

“South Korea, after establishing its credentials in economic development, is seeking to enhance its international status,” said Joseph Cheng, a professor of political science at the City University in Hong Kong.

According to Mr Cheng, South Korea is following “a very typical pattern” of establishing itself as a developed nation and then making “an increasingly significant contribution to the international community”.

Putting things in perspective, Korea ranks just 32nd of 115 nations contributing UN peacekeepers.  The fact that it can do more, hasn’t been lost to some.

Anthony Banbury, the UN assistant secretary general for field support, said… “Given the capabilities … and the size of the armed forces, the size of the economy here, we would hope that in the future, South Korea could increase its contribution to UN peacekeeping,” he said.

Mr Banbury said Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular, would benefit from having South Korean peacekeepers.

However, where South Korea deploys troops generally tends to follow her immediate economic and political interests.  So, you’ll see Korean troops in the UAE or Afghanistan, but not likely to see any in Sudan or the Congo any time soon.