SEOUL, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- South Korea is not currently mulling the dispatch of additional troops to South Sudan where a crisis of civil war is escalating, Seoul's Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a routine press briefing that the South Korean government"is not currently reviewing"whether to send additional troops to the African nation where around 280 South Korean soldiers, mainly composed of engineers and medics, have been operating since 2012 as part of UN peacekeepers to help with their restoration efforts.
His comments came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the Security Council Monday to reinforce the peacekeeping force in South Sudan to protect civilians amid the deteriorating conflict there.
Spokesman Kim said that there has been no request yet from the UN for additional troops dispatch, noting that if such requests are made, the government will conduct a comprehensive review.
Touching on the safety of the dispatched soldiers there, Kim said that there has been no military combat reported yet between Sudanese government forces and rebel groups, noting that they were in a stalemate in areas tens of kilometers north of Bor, a town some 170 km north of the capital Juba and the place in which the South Korean troops are stationed.
Amid growing fears over an all-out civil war in the African country, the South Korean unit received 10,000 rounds of ammunition from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces on Monday via the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said in a separate press briefing that the South Korean contingency in South Sudan asked for the UNMISS to offer additional ammunition, noting that such request was answered with an ammunition from Japan.
Asked about whether South Korea lends support to Japan's push for collective self-defense right by accepting the ammunition from the Japanese troops, Cho said that there was nothing in common between those issues, noting that it was just a request for ammunition provision, no more, no less.
South Sudan army lose capital of oil-producing state
KHARTOUM, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's army admitted Monday that it lost control of Bantiu, capital of the oil- producing Unity State, local media reported.
"Our forces have not prepared to control Bantiu," South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer was quoted by South Sudanese media as saying. Full story