Military chief nominee vows full combat readiness amid changing security conditions

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- The nominee to become South Korea's top military officer pledged every effort Friday for the success of defense reform.

Speaking at his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, Army Gen. Park Han-ki, the nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), cited the uncertainties of regional security conditions.

"Currently, the security of the Korean Peninsula is in a big transformational period moving toward peace and prosperity," he said.

In Northeast Asia, he added, "strategic resilience" is growing amid competing national interests. Cyber threats have also increased, he said.

"I will do my best to make a high-morale, combat-winning military to defend the country and the people and receive public trust," he said.

Park put forward his four key priorities: the stable reform of the military, a firm defense posture, solid communication-based internal unity and deterrence based on combined operations.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1983 following his graduation from the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Seoul.

If appointed, he will become the first head of the country's JCS with a ROTC background in two decades.

He has served as the commander of the 2nd Operational Command, headquartered in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, since last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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