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South Korean Overseas Troop Deployments

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.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Tip from Inigo Montoya: This word “ostentatious”, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Wedge

    The word “ostentatious” used to describe Korea’s barechested photo event-driven special forces works for me, whether a Freudian slip or no.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    FYI, I know what ostentatiously means and I meant to use it where I did.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Wedge,

    Yeah, that’s about what I meant.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Ah, the surprising play on words so subtle that it escapes the estimable Inigo Montoya!

  • seouldout

    1) If “ostentatious” was indeed the intended word how is their deployment a vulgar or pretentious display?

    2) I don’t know if even ostensibly would work there, unless winky thinks the reason for their deployment isn’t entirely that stated by officials. A 5-year indoor ski holiday spent chatting up Lebanese shop clerks and drinking overpriced booze? That’s my job.

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  • http://wetcasements.wordpress.com wetcasements

    “However, where South Korea deploys troops generally tends to follow her immediate economic and political interests.”

    How does this make South Korea different from any other first-world nation?

    That said, I’ve been doing some reading about the South Korean troops who fought alongside the US during the Vietnam War. I’d always known the forces involved had been significant, but not over 300,000 if Wikipedia is to be believed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koreans_in_Vietnam

  • http://wetcasements.wordpress.com wetcasements

    300,000 over a few years, not 300,000 South Koreans all at the same time.

    Still interesting though.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    WangKon — Despite your long history of often-hideous malapropism, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and accept your explanation that you deliberately chose to use “ostentatiously” in that sentence. But I have to ask: What were you going for with “Oversea’s” in the headline?

  • keith

    ‘Ostentatiously’? I’d have thought ‘ostensibly’ would make more sense in that context. Brendon, you’re correct about the apostrophe. I make mistakes too sometimes. I think if you’ve been in Korea a while you’re subjected to so much dodgy English it’s easy to get a bit confused.

  • judge judy

    “ostentatiously” makes no sense. it should read “ostensibly”.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Wonder if some weapons deal will follow soon

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Inigo Montoya personally thinks that WangKon intended to write “ostensibly” but he’s not a mind reader. If WangKon wants to pretend that ostentatiously was intended, Inigo Montoya is willing to go along.

    Brendon himself is a good writer, and expert in the use of the English language, his birthright as an Irishman. As a lawyer, of course he should be. Brendon likes to razz WangKon as an ESL speaker and putative USC graduate. (Don’t they require good English at USC?) And, of course, Brendon is fond of writing about himself (and Inigo Montoya) in the third person! Perhaps for today only…

    Be understanding. Ragging people on spelling and grammar mistakes in the Internet is stuff white people like. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a whiter guy than “Brendon Carr” of the Irish hillbillies of the South and Midwest.

  • keith

    Who, or what is an Ingo Montoya? Sounds like an iffy Japanese or Korean car to me.

  • seouldout

    @13 – That’s choke full of funny.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    Methinks you being in Korea so long has made you think you have gotten whiter… ;)

    Personally, I have understood “ostentatious” to be used in contexts that describe “conspicuous” and “showy” situations, thus its use here accurately convey’s my opinion on the topic at hand. In my opinion, over the past decade or so since you have been in Korea, its use in the English vernacular has become more casual and less negative.

    In any case, thank you for hijacking my thread. I’ll considering it as sort of a late Christmas gift from you.

  • judge judy

    idiot.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon and Keith,

    I agree with the apostrophe. Fixed.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Hey now that we’re at it…is “I’ll considering it” grammatical ?

    Sorry English is my very distant second language ;)

  • DLBarch

    If we can leave the paralegal proofreading aside for the moment and return to the heart of this story, I’d add that Korea’s lack of a more robust, more substantial level of participation in international peace-keeping efforts is pretty rich. It’s also bad policy.

    Forget the HUGE irony of a country whose ass was saved by others being stingy in its own overseas deployments. Seoul should be a more active participant in international and multilateral undertakings if for no other reason than to provide real-world training to an entire generaion of NGOs and officer corps with NO meaningful combat experience.

    The Keystone Cops inaccuracy of SoKo’s return fire during the Yeonpyeong sakeon should be a wake-up call to serious MND types that maybe a few more overseas missions — over and above FAR more live-fire training exercises back in SoKo, should be the new order of the day.

    And that’s my ostentatious policy recommendation for the day!

    DLB

  • YangachiBastardo

    DLB: overall it seems reasonable but don’t these missions overseas in third world countries require a completely different set of skills than what would hypothetically be needed in open warfare against the North ?

  • DLBarch

    YB,

    That’s a fair point, but I don’t think so. The skill set for actual combat deployment is pretty broad. Now, if the question is whether SoKo fighter pilots are likely to get much air combat practice over the skies of Sudan, then of course the answer is no. But combat readiness requires a capacity for allocating manpower, securing supply and logistics, coordinating with allies, and maneuvering under unpredictable and stressful (to say the least) field conditions that SoKo ground forces currently just don’t get running their paces at the same training grounds again and again.

    Ostentatiously speaking, of course.

    DLB

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Who, or what is an Ingo [sic] Montoya?

    Inigo Montoya, swordsman played by Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride, who says to another character (Vizzini?) “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    The Keystone Cops inaccuracy of SoKo’s return fire during the Yeonpyeong sakeon should be a wake-up call to serious MND types that maybe a few more overseas missions — over and above FAR more live-fire training exercises back in SoKo, should be the new order of the day.

    The problem is not resident so much in the MND itself, but in the political circles and those at the top end of the military food chain who owe their positions to their political aptitude.

  • Wedge

    #20: How does running a child prostitution ring while under the blue helmet in East Fubarland help your counterbattery fire skilz?

  • DLBarch

    Spewer,

    That, of course, is a whole ‘nudda problem. One of the under-reported stories coming out of the whole Yeonpyeong aftermath is a renewed awareness of the price paid of having a whole slew of old guard Korean officers retired (read: purged) during the pre-2MB decade of Sunshine Policy-inspired engagement with NoKo.

    Couple this purge of senior field commanders with inadequate training, and the Cheonan sakeon and Yeonpyeong sakeon start to made sense. The irony is that MND has been on a tear in procuring fancy new arms and weapons systems at the expense of nuts-and-bolts live-fire training exercises.

    On the plus side, 2MB seems to be finally acting like a real leader rather than a semiconductor salesman, and that is a very good thing indeed.

    DLB

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    2MB seems to be finally acting like a real leader rather than a semiconductor salesman

    Okay, that was funny, but I would have said cement salesman instead. Fits his construction background better… and what is the Cheonggyecheon but mostly cement?… ;)

  • gbnhj

    Ah, the allure of grammar – it’s drawn me in again:

    ‘They will ostentatiously be there to train UAE special forces.’

    Friends, aside from the unusual choice of words, WangKon has also placed the adverb incorrectly. In all its clumsy glory, it ought to read ‘They will be there ostentatiously to train UAE special forces’. (I don’t pretend to know what that sentence means, precisely, but it is, at least, now structurally correct.)

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I feel like I’m being carved up like the proverbial Christmas turkey!

  • gbnhj

    Perhaps, but keep in mind that North Americans do love their Christmas turkeys :) BTW, Merry Christmas to you, WangKon, and thank you for the blogging efforts you’ve put in here over the past year. They are much appreciated.

  • Wedge

    I’m in favor of giving the guy a break–hell, it’s the Christmas season, right? Plus he blogs some interesting stuff, so let’s not discourage his posting over some grammar nitpicks.

  • DLBarch

    Pay them no mind, WK. The OCD types already have WAY too much presence on MH. Don’t encourage them. It’s the substance of what you post that we all dig.

    Besides, we all know you went to USC…..

    DLB

  • tinyflowers

    Ostentatious is the wrong word here but gbnhj is obviously mistaken in correcting WK’s grammar. Adverbs can be placed almost anywhere depending on your style. It’s very flexible.

    I’ll replace with another adverb so it makes more sense:

    They will primarily be there to train UAE special forces
    They will be there to train UAE special forces, primarily
    Primarily, they will be there to train UAE special forces
    They will be there, primarily, to train UAE special forces
    Other phrasings would work as well, some better than others.

    gbnhj, which of the above is “grammatically correct”?

    You’re basically nitpicking adverb placement between “he ran quickly” and “he quickly ran”

  • tinyflowers

    Happy now grammar nazis?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Ditto what gbnhj said in #30.

  • Wedge

    Back to this underparticipation in UN peacekeeping meme: Korea has a real, honest-to-God threat on its border, so it shouldn’t be expected to do nearly as much peacekeeing as the Swedens and Brazils of the world. Plus, third-world countries like the dosh they get for doing it.

  • seouldout

    ^ Fiji earns quite a bit from the UN doing so. And with the experience and connections individual Fijians have picked up over the years many find private security work later. They and the Gurhkas are the fellas you wouldn’t want to tussle with. Tenacious, disciplined, effective.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    They and the Gurhkas are the fellas you wouldn’t want to tussle with. Tenacious, disciplined, effective

    Well, the ones in the Forces (and on the rugby and other sports teams), anyway; you know what I mean.

  • gbnhj

    #33,

    Adverbs can be placed almost anywhere depending on your style. It’s very flexible.

    Yes, they are. However, nothing I wrote above attempts to argue against that point. I merely wrote that he needed to change the position of the adverb so that it more correctly explains why, rather than how, ‘they will be there.’

    More importantly, though, I’m surprised you missed the other post I made, #30. In case the above wasn’t clear, I think WangKon is a warmhearted and intelligent blogger, and I think we are all the better for his sharing both with us here.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Yes and his posts about Korea military and economic issues a welcome and useful break from the usual crap…i wish somebody would post more about the shananigans of the Korean real estate market

  • gbnhj

    D’oh! Here’s another try at it:

    #33,

    Adverbs can be placed almost anywhere depending on your style. It’s very flexible.

    Yes, they are. However, nothing I wrote above attempts to argue against that point. I merely wrote that he needed to change the position of the adverb so that it more correctly explains why, rather than how, ‘they will be there.’

    More importantly, though, I’m surprised you missed the other post I made, #30. In case the above wasn’t clear, I think WangKon is a warmhearted and intelligent blogger, and I think we are all the better for his sharing both qualities with us here.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Thanks guys for the kind words. Although, I will concede that people deserve to read posts in a grammatical fashion that is comfortable for them. So, I don’t knock any body for stating the errors. They could, however, for the sake of keeping things on topic, be a bit more prudent in how they point out the errors.

  • slim

    I wholeheartedly second both aspects of gbnhj’s opinion of WK936.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    I would just like to say that I think WangKon is the most generous, loving, caring, empathetic, kind-hearted, warm-hearted, open-hearted, large-hearted, gentle, forgiving, hospitable, benevolent, charitable, gracious, polite, courteous, and sweet blogger in the history of blogs.

    He sends a tingle up my leg every time I ostentatiously think about him.

  • Sonagi

    I’m so jealous of your mancrush on WK, IHBB. If I called you a douchebag, would that send a tingle up your leg? You can visualize me without funbags and with hairy limbs if that helps.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    If I called you a douchebag, would that send a tingle up your leg?

    It would help if I’m also naked, blindfolded, gagged, and bound with a stiletto heel crushing my sac.

    Seriously though, good to see you back. Perhaps you can counter the re-emergence of the three monkeys and their thread-shitting spree. It’s enough to drive one back into exile.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa
  • gbnhj

    If this blog lacks something – a fire in its belly, a tingle up its leg – perhaps the required use of expletives, extreme sexual imagery and personal insults would solve that problem. At any rate, it would be better than having to whinge about it obliquely, right?

    Really, ihbb, are you bemoaning the lack of restraint on personal expression? That’s rich.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    If this blog lacks something – a fire in its belly, a tingle up its leg – perhaps the required use of expletives, extreme sexual imagery and personal insults would solve that problem.

    I support your solution to this problem. Do you have a petition I can sign? What are the first steps we can take to enforce this? Please elaborate.

    Really, ihbb, are you bemoaning the lack of restraint on personal expression? That’s rich.

    Is that what 4 or 5 posts in a row of gibberish is called these days? I’m sure the trifecta are overjoyed at your generous upgrade of their respective trails of incomprehensible shit.

    Excuse me now while I go clean my son’s latest personal expression from his training underwear.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    IHBB has a son?

  • seouldout

    They could, however, for the sake of keeping things on topic, be a bit more prudent in how they point out the errors.

    Oh,puleeeeze.

    For the sake of the topic, eh?

    If you care to comprehend the way above comments you may find that your readers were trying to figure out what you meant by “ostentatious”. So, how is this deployment of ROK special forces, who will perform their duties far from public view, “conspicuous” and “showy” (which really aren’t the meanings of “ostentatious”)?

    I feel like I’m being carved up like the proverbial Christmas turkey!

    That’s an easy fix: don’t be a turkey.

  • gbnhj

    To be honest, I assumed you were including me among the group of ‘three monkeys and their thread-shitting spree’ – hence, the response above. If you’re talking about commenters who can’t seem to string two ideas together, yet string up threads with five or eight posts in a row, I feel your pain. Their posts, however, may be more like your son’s product, excretion rather than expression.

    And that, as they say, is a horse of a different color: they do decrease reader interest in this blog, while offering little in terms of comprehensible thought. It’s up to Robert what to do, but he ought to consider doing something.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    To be honest, I assumed you were including me among the group of ‘three monkeys and their thread-shitting spree’ – hence, the response above.

    Not at all. Didn’t imagine you’d think it was directed at you, as you’re about as far removed from the shit-flingers as is possible. I try to neither mention their names nor respond to them at all, but for the record it’s _ _ _, _ _ _ _ _ , and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. All with the same MO.

    My participation here tends to be inversely proportional to theirs, which is why I don’t show up very often lately. dda’s script was a godsend, but it doesn’t seem to work anymore.

    In my mind they’re half the problem, and the other half is the depressing reality that a lot of otherwise decent commenters here regularly engage and encourage them. So I not only have to scroll past their voluminous piles, but also past those of people I would otherwise read, but who somehow think it wise to respond to them. Just becomes more trouble than it’s worth most of the time when half the entire thread needs to be ignored.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Point taken.