Thursday, August 11, 2016

S. Korea attends Asia-Pacific mission to prepare for natural disasters

2016/08/09 16:38

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military officials and civilian experts have participated in an annual Asia-Pacific mission designed to jointly work on preparing for natural disasters, the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday.

More than 900 military and civilian teams from 14 countries are now taking part in this year's Pacific Partnership mission, the military command said in a telephone press briefing from Malaysia. It said the nations taking part in the talks have discussed ways to improve the ability of partner nations to collectively and effectively respond to a variety of natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons.

"Many different experts came to Southeast Asia to share knowledge about natural disaster preparedness. Nothing changes after a disaster happens. The international community has to be ready for any disaster scenario," Mission Commander Commodore Tom Williams from the U.S. Navy said in the teleconference.
Williams said every country in the Asia-Pacific region can make a request for assistance to the partnership in times of disaster. He pointed out that the Pacific Partnership is open to all nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Non-governmental organizations have also joined to work with military and civilian leadership in such areas as medical treatments, nursing, pharmacy and civil engineering projects, the commander said.

The partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in Southeast Asia.

Pacific Partnership 2016 is wrapping up its five-month-long mission for this year after teams checked places like Timor Leste, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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