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Korean Flag Shipping (KFS)

South Korea's location forms the intersection of four world powers: Russia, China, Japan, and the United States. As such, the United States maintains political, economic, and military relations and agreements with the South Korean government for the national security of both nations. Sealift is essential in the defense of the Korean peninsula.

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has established a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in which Korean merchant vessels could utilized in the movement of military cargo from the U.S. and the pacific region to Korea. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), dated 25 March 1981, which established the Korean Flag Shipping (KFS) program.

The KFS program (consisting of 59 ships) establishes the procedures and conditions upon which South Korean-flag vessels transfer operational control to Military Sealift Command (MSC) and carry United States military cargo in support of the South Korean defense. However, even with the addition of the 59 South Korean ships, MSC cannot meet the operational requirements for the Korean Peninsula Operation Plan.

The complexity involved in activating, assigning ships and ensuring adequate sealift, merits analysis to better understand this MOA. Results of simulation of the KFS program indicate that the response times are longer than those currently used. The variability found in both the response times and unit closure times is sensitive not only to the size of the unit to be moved but also to the location of the ship, travel distances and the allocation of the ships.

Korean-flag shipping companies owned 389 vessels totaling 11,529,000 gross tons as of the end of 1996, up 16 ships and 9.4 percent in gross tonnage from a year before. By type of vessels, dry cargo carriers numbered 83 involving 1,855,000 tons, up 64.0 percent from a year earlier.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:09:04 ZULU