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Asian Leaders Condemn Terrorist Attacks in US


Leaders in Northeast Asia are condemning the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. The South Korean government has put its entire military on alert against potential attacks against U.S. targets in the country.

In South Korea, the government has put all 670,000 military troops on alert against potential attacks against U.S. targets in the country.

There are close to a dozen U.S. military bases in South Korea and more than 100,000 U.S. nationals living in the country.

While the U.S. embassy in Seoul is closed until further notice, the National Police Agency put an extra company of 400 men on duty outside of the building. It is surrounded by riot police at all times due to regular anti-U.S. demonstrations.

Aides to President Kim Dae-jung says he sent a condolence letter to President Bush and the South Korean government issued a statement saying it would join international efforts to fight terrorism.

U.S. embassies and related missions in Japan have also been closed until further notice in the wake of the unprecedented attacks Tuesday on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. All embassy personnel and their families have been told to remain at home.

In a press release, the embassy said it knew of no information specific to Japan, but in light of the attacks in New York and Washington, it was warning all American citizens and organizations in Japan to step up security measures.

U.S. authorities issued a public notice last weekend for both Japan and South Korea warning of a credible but unconfirmed threat of possible terrorist attacks against U.S. military installations in both countries.

On orders from Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, senior police and defense officials increased security around U.S. bases and other installations across Japan, where some 47,000 U.S. troops are stationed.

A U.S. military spokesman in Tokyo told the Associated Press that force protection levels have been increased but refused to give specific details.

Mr. Koizumi sent a message to President Bush describing the attacks as extremely cowardly and beyond description. He offered his sympathies to the people of the United States and told U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker that Japan will do whatever it can to help the United States.

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