SEOUL — The South Korean Navy is focusing on modernization efforts to guard against North Korean coastal threats while building a deep sea operational capability.
The service launched an independent submarine command Feb. 1, highlighting its emphasis on undersea operations to counter North Korea and other regional threats. The command, the sixth of its kind in the world, brings operations, logistics, training and maintenance under one roof, according to Navy officials.
“The command’s main mission is to better protect the country from North Korean naval provocations, as the North is increasingly building up its underwater capabilities,” Cmdr. Lim Myung-soo, at the Navy’s public affairs office, said.
The command, located in the southern port city of Jinhae, operates 13 diesel-electric submarines — nine 1,200-ton 209-class, and four 1,800-ton 214-class subs — with five more 214 subs being commissioned by 2020.