US forces launch space unit in South Korea amid North’s growing threats

SEOUL (Reuters): US Forces Korea launched a new space forces unit on Wednesday as the allies ramp up efforts to better counter North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile threats.


The US Space Forces Korea is the second overseas space component of the Space Force and tasked with monitoring, detecting and tracking incoming missiles, as well as bolstering the military’s overall space capability.


US Forces Korea commander Gen. Paul LaCamera hosted a ceremony at Osan Air Base in the South Korean city of Pyeongtaek to mark the creation of the unit, which will be led by Lt. Col. Joshua McCullion.


The launch came as Seoul and Washington seek to boost security cooperation to deter North Korea, which has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching US mainland this year.


South Korea’s air force also set up its own space unit this month to bolster its space power and operation capability together with the US Space Force.


Around 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea under a mutual defence treaty forged after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.


The US Indo-Pacific Command and Central Command set up their space units last month in Hawaii and Florida.