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South Korea may join proposed US ‘Sentinel’ force to police the Middle East Gulf

Reports say Seoul is planning to send its Cheonghae Unit, a crack naval force now conducting anti-piracy operations near the Bab el Mandeb, about 1,400 nautical miles west of the Strait of Hormuz. But the defence ministry says in a briefing that South Korea is only looking into ‘various options’ to protect ships and no decision has been made on whether to contribute troops to the US-led initiative

The US Energy Information Administration reports that South Korea is highly dependent on the Middle East for its oil supply, with the region accounting for more than 82% of the Asian country’s crude oil imports in 2017

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