Korean Bodyguards to Train Iraqi Police

Despite the South Korean government's decision not to send troops to Iraq due to security concerns, a Korean private security firm, NKTS, still plans to send bodyguards to help train Iraqi police. Sending up to 150 bodyguards, NKTS, which has also guarded Jordan's royal family, will train the Iraqi police in bomb removal, martial arts, small arms, and common courtesy. The training should help Iraqis fight terrorism at home. – YaleGlobal

Korean Bodyguards to Train Iraqi Police

O Youn-hee
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

A private Korean security company will send bodyguards to Kirkuk in Iraq to train local policemen in the fight against terrorism.

Iraqi Interior Minister Nuri Badran asked local firm NKTS to train the troops in the area, said Kim Hyun-taek, the director of the company.

NKTS, who previously escorted Jordan's royal families, said yesterday it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iraqi government on March 17 and agreed to train the Iraqi troops.

The security company's move contrasts with the Korean government's recent decision to withdraw its plan to dispatch troops to Kirkuk, in central Iraq, because of security concerns.

The selected bodyguards will train the Iraqi troops in May at a drill field in the region, Kim said.

"We haven't decided the exact number of bodyguards who will be dispatched to Kirkuk, yet," Kim told The Korea Herald. "It could be about 150 people."

Bomb removal, handling weapons and firearms, martial arts and even common courtesy are included in the training, according to the contract. NKTS will also provide military equipment such as guns, uniforms for the soldiers and an Internet infrastructure.

Kim said the company initially considered scrapping the plan to send bodyguards to Kirkuk when the Korean government announced last week that it would not send troops to northern Iraq, due to security concerns.

"At first, we were puzzled by the government's announcement," Kim said. "However, we decided to continue with our plans."

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