Defense Minister Shin Won-sik called Thursday for South Korean troops deployed in the Middle East to maintain vigilance to keep their service members safe in the wake of the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict, his office said.
Shin made phone calls to the commanders of the Dongmyeong unit in Lebanon and the Akh unit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to check the latest situation in the region and emphasized security measures for the troops, according to the defense ministry.
"I want you to carry out missions while considering the safety of unit members as the top priority," Shin was quoted as saying. "Don't disregard unusual or abnormal signs and take extra caution when operating your units."
The calls came as Israel and the Palestinian military group Hamas are trading fire in the Gaza Strip in the latest development of the conflict, potentially posing a threat to the Korean troops operating near the region.
South Korea has around 1,000 troops stationed overseas, including the Akh unit, the Dongmyeong unit and the Cheonghae unit on anti-piracy missions off the coast of Africa.
Source: Yonhap News Agency