The Korean Coast Guard's budget for next year, announced on the 31st of last month, was 1,683.6 billion won, an increase of 9.3% from this year. Next year's main project costs will increase by 20.2%, the largest increase in the last 10 years. This is the result of the resurrection of the maritime police and the large-scale budget investment after the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in government.
It was thought to be a festive atmosphere before "68th Anniversary Marine Police Day" on the 10th of this month, but Kim Hong-hee, the director of the Korea Coast Guard, did not relax and said with a keen eye and a powerful voice, "Japan claims Dokdo (Japanese name: Takeshima)'s sovereignty and sends ships, while China is on the offensive. From September, the season for gazami crabs will begin, and Chinese fishing boats will begin operations." This is the reason why Director Kim is effectively returning from summer vacation and protecting the government building like an emergency waiting group.
Looking at recent trends, Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels have appeared 84 times in 2018, 100 times in 2019, and 83 times in 2020. The Chinese marine research vessel appeared 14th in 2018, 20th in 2019, and 31 times in 2020. Including NLL and Chinese fishing vessels near Jeju Island, the number of vessels that the maritime police have to deal with is quite large.
The Moon Jae-in government has invested a lot of money, but the reality is not easy. According to the Korea Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard, and Jane's Yearbook in the United Kingdom, there are currently 354 Korean ships, less than 394 in China and 477 in Japan. There are 20 helicopters, more than 19 in China, but only 38% of the 53 in Japan.
Regarding the reason why the budget for maritime territory and sovereignty protection was so large, Director Kim said, "Because Japan and China are appearing more often on Dokdo and Ieodo islands. It appears about once every three to four days. Especially with China on the offensive, it is necessary for South Korea to respond to this."
Regarding these movements between Japan and China, "Japan is trying to make Dokdo, our territory, an international conflict area. Japan rarely enters territorial waters, but they remain near Dokdo. China is the maritime version of 'One Belt, One Road'."
Regarding the Korean government's maritime defense measures, "We have built a futuristic maritime security system, MDA (Mari Time Domain Awareness), and are investing a budget. It is a security system in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution using drones and artificial satellites. Recently, the U.S. military has attacked the Taliban with an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) for attack. Japan has less security forces such as ships and planes than overseas, but we should invest more in MDA in the future." it was stated.
Published : 2021/09/14 21:13 KST
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