News / Asia

South Korea Assured of No US Troop Reductions

U.S. Army soldiers from Stryker Brigade Combat Team stand in line after a live fire drill during joint exercises with South Korea. (2011 File)
U.S. Army soldiers from Stryker Brigade Combat Team stand in line after a live fire drill during joint exercises with South Korea. (2011 File)
TEXT SIZE - +

Despite assurances from the U.S. president that Thursday’s announced defense cuts will not come at the expense of the Asia-Pacific region, there is some nervousness in South Korea. That is where the United States maintains 28,000 troops and still operates nearly 20 bases and camps since it began a permanent presence on the peninsula with the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.

South Korean officials say they have been assured by their counterparts in Washington that sweeping defense cuts will not have an impact on U.S. forces here.

The United States is planning to chop, over a number of years, hundreds of billions of dollars from defense spending. The U.S. Defense Department is also expected to gradually cut an estimated 10 to 15 percent of its personnel.

South Korea's Deputy Defense Minister Lim Kwan-bin says U.S. officials have made clear to him they are committed to strengthening security cooperation in the region despite reductions elsewhere.

Lim says U.S. troop cuts will not occur on the Korean peninsula. He adds that the United States will be able to rely on reserve forces, in addition to active duty personnel, in the event of hostilities.

But South Korean defense analysts say they are concerned that a slimmed-down U.S. military would mean, in the event of war, fewer American ground troop force reinforcements and a longer time for them to arrive here.

Baek Seung-joo, director of the Center for Security and Strategy at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul, says there are worries about the U.S. force cutbacks and it could affect Seoul's overall defense strategy.

South Korea has already been planning for years to assume more responsibility for its own defense. It is scheduled, in little less than four years, to take operational control of forces on the peninsula in the event of another war with North Korea.

At present, the South Korean forces would be under the command of the U.S. military if there is such a clash.

In an editorial Thursday, the New York Times, which called the new defense strategy "a generally pragmatic vision,", also cautioned that the U.S. must be ready to face multiple contingencies, including the possibility of an "unbalanced North Korean leader making a suicidal run across the South Korean border."

The two Koreas technically remain at war as no peace treaty was signed following a 1953 armistice after three years of devastating combat across the peninsula.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid