Second Korean-American Captain of US Aegis Ship InauguratedUS Navy | Monday May 25, 2009
2nd Korean-American Captain Of US Aegis Ship Inaugurated
(THE KOREA TIMES 29 MAR 09) ... Jung Sung-ki
A Korean-American naval officer was put in command of one of the U.S. Navy's Aegis destroyers amid the growing tension here over North Korea's planned "rocket" launch.
Cmdr. Jeffrey J. Kim's inauguration was held March 28 at the South Korean Navy's operations command in Busan. Kim, who was made captain of the USS John S. McCain, is the second Korean-American naval officer to skipper an Aegis-equipped destroyer, after Cmdr. Choi Hee-dong, captain of the USS Chafee.
Choi was made captain of the Chafee earlier this month prior to the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle joint exercises held by the South Korean and U.S. militaries.
The USS John S. McCain is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, and is homeported at Yokosuka, Japan. The two U.S. destroyers, which have delayed their departure after the joint exercises, will leave for the East Sea today to monitor and track the North Korean rocket launch slated for early April, according to sources.
Three Aegis-equipped destroyers in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force also left their homeports over the weekend following an order to intercept any ballistic missile launched by North Korea into Japan's airspace. Meanwhile, South Korea's Navy has dispatched the Sejong the Great to join U.S. and Japanese operations.
Born in Seoul, Kim, 40, immigrated to the United States with his family when he was aged just nine, according to a news release. After growing up in California, Kim studied astronautics at MIT before being commissioned as a naval officer in 1991, it said. Since then, Kim has served on the aircraft carrier USS Independence and the frigate USS McClusky, it said. "I take pride in the inauguration of Jeffrey Kim, a Korean-American naval officer, as captain of a high-tech U.S. destroyer," South Korea's Chief of Naval Operations Jung Ok-keun said in a speech at the ceremony. " "In particular, Kim being commissioned in his country of birth reflects the strong alliance between South Korea and the United States. I sincerely ask Kim to make sincere efforts to help improve the two navies' ties, as well as to maintain peace and security in Northeast Asia."
(The Korea Times is the oldest of three English-language newspapers published daily in South Korea. It is part of the same newspaper group as Hankook Ilbo, a major Korean language daily.)