SEOUL: South Korea and Cambodia held their first joint exercise aimed at enhancing the capacity of Cambodian peacekeepers in engineering under a United Nations (UN) partnership programme, Seoul’s defence ministry said Monday.

A team of 10 South Korean military engineers trained 32 Cambodian counterparts in the area of facilitating logistics support for UN peacekeeping missions from Nov 6 to Dec 1 near the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the ministry said.

Japan and Australia participated in the exercise as observers, reported Yonhap news agency.

The joint drill was held as part of the UN Triangular Partnership Progrme, which aims to enhance peacekeepers’ capacity in engineering, medicine and other areas through the provision of training and operational support.

Under a bilateral agreement signed in 2022, South Korea in February handed over military equipment to Cambodia and plans to additionally provide heavy equipment, including graders, bulldozers and vibratory rollers, according to the ministry.

The ministry said it will expand the combat engineers’ exercise to include other Southeast Asian nations that deploy forces to UN peacekeeping missions, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, from next year.–Bernama-Yonhap

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