US military creates space unit in South Korea in face of North Korean threats

SEOUL: The US military has officially launched a space force unit in South Korea on Wednesday, a decision that should allow Washington to better monitor its rivals North KoreaChina and Russia.
The activation of US Space Forces Korea at Osan The air base near Seoul came after North Korea has tested a barrage of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles designed to strike the continental United States and its allies South Korea and Japan in recent months.
“Only 48 miles north of us exists an existential threat; a threat we must be prepared to deter, defend and, if necessary, defeat,” Lt. Col. Joshua McCullion, head of the new space unit, said at the activation ceremony in Osan. He was apparently referring to North Korea, whose heavily fortified border with South Korea is just an hour’s drive from Seoul, the South’s capital.
The unit is part of the US Space Force, which was launched in December 2019 under then-President Donald Trump as the first new US military service in more than 70 years.
The Space Force was seen soberly as an affirmation of the need to organize more effectively for the defense of American interests in space – in particular the satellites used for civil and military navigation, intelligence and communication. A previous Pentagon report said China and Russia had undertaken major efforts to develop technologies that could allow them to disrupt or destroy US and allied satellites in the event of a crisis or conflict.
US Space Forces Korea is a subordinate of a larger US Space Force unit established within the Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii last month.
Jung Chang Wook, head of the Korea Defense Study Forum think tank in Seoul, said the US Space Force was created to bring together various surveillance assets, including space satellites, into a single organization to manage and manage them. to develop them in an efficient and systemic way. He said his unit in South Korea would operate as a field unit while the other in the Indo-Pacific Command would be his headquarters.
“US Korea Space Forces would maintain, operate and evaluate related equipment. Simply put, I would say the actual US space operations will be at Osan Air Base,” Jung said. He said the main role of US space forces in Korea would be to receive, process and analyze a huge amount of data and information transmitted by US satellites.
“The United States military is faster, better connected, more informed, precise and deadly thanks to space,” the general said. Paul The Camera, commander of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, said at the ceremony. “Specifically, the activation here today of U.S. space forces in Korea…enhances our ability to defend the homeland and ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.”
Jung said the launch of a space unit in South Korea was primarily to better monitor North Korea, followed by China and then Russia.
The United States and South Korea have expanded their regular military exercises and pushed to further strengthen their combined defense capability in the face of North Korea’s advancing nuclear program. North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons preemptively in potential conflicts with the United States and South Korea, and the United States military has warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons “will result in the end of this regime.


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