For some reason I just don’t buy the reason given on why the ROK government is dispatching troops to aid the UN mission in South Sudan:
Korea’s plan to dispatch peacekeeping troops to South Sudan this year has become all but impossible, government sources told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.
Dissonance between government agencies is to blame for the delay, which could put Korea further behind its Northeast Asian rivals in a competition to increase its presence in the oil-rich African country, sources said.
Seoul decided last year to send an engineering troop to the eastern African country to help the country after it gained independence from Sudan in July last year.
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requested Seoul’s help, and the government stated answering the call would send a signal to the international community highlighting Korea’s transformation from an aid-recipient to an international donor. But Seoul is yet to break ground to build a base for the troops in South Sudan.
“The rainy season will start in [South Sudan] in late May, making it difficult to build a base,” said a government official.
The government hasn’t drafted a bill seeking parliamentary approval for the troop dispatch, either. The 19th National Assembly, led by newly elected lawmakers, will convene its first session in June, but even if the bill passes then, at least several months will be needed for infrastructure building, the official said. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
I think the real reason for not sending the troops is because South Sudan could very possibly turn into a real shooting war between Sudan and South Sudan. Why would the Korean government want to have ROK troops stuck in the middle of that?