News / Asia

US Announces New Troop Deployment to South Korea

Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while speaking after a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.
Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while speaking after a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The Pentagon has announced the deployment of an additional 800 troops to South Korea, along with combat tanks and other military hardware, as Washington seeks to counter any regional threats from North Korea.
 
Tuesday's deployment announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Washington with his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se.  Kerry used the meeting to assure Yun of Washington's commitment to South Korea's nuclear defense, in his words, "so that we are prepared to face any threat."
 
"The United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united without an inch of daylight between us - not a sliver of daylight - on the subject of opposition to North Korea's destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities, and the international community stands with us," said Kerry.

Kerry said Yun and he are "deeply focused on the challenge of North Korea, particularly with events that have taken place in recent weeks" in Pyongyang. 
 
His comments appeared to reference a recent political purge that included the execution of the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
 
The killing in December of Jang Song Thaek, a powerful member of the reclusive country’s politburo, is seen by some Western analysts as a move by Kim to consolidate power, and by others as evidence of political instability within the North Korean hierarchy.
 
A Pentagon statement said elements of the 1st Army Battalion from Ft. Hood, Texas, will deploy to Camps Hovey and Stanley, in South Korea, by February 1.

Cedric Leighton, a retired Air Force officer and risk management consultant, told VOA the battalion has extensive combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are being deployed relatively close to the demilitarized zone, sending what Leighton calls a "clear signal" to the North.
 
"We're reassuring the South Koreans that we will continue to maintain a trip-wire of American forces on the Korean peninsula. And we're also going to not only put military forces there, but we're going to put military forces that are combat-experienced in that area. And that is a clear signal to the North not to engage in any adventures that would potentially bring conflict to the Korean peninsula," said Leighton.
 
A Pentagon spokesman described the deployment as long-planned and part of an ongoing shift of U.S. military power toward the Asia-Pacific region.
 
The White House has in recent months moved to reassure its Asian allies of its commitment to the diplomatic, economic and military pivot toward Asia, but Brad Glosserman, of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum, told VOA the troop deployment calls into question the geographic focus of the Asia rebalance.
 
"If you go back to the original language about the rebalance, the argument was always that the Americans have gotten Northeast Asia well, and that we wanted to sort of refocus and provide sustained attention to Southeast Asia. This actually goes up a bit up against that grain," said Glosserman.
 
Glosserman also pointed out that the move raises questions about what form the Asia pivot will take. White House officials have in the past stressed that it will not have a military-first focus.
 
Since the pivot was formally announced in 2011, the U.S. has broadened and deepened its economic and military alliances throughout Asia. The strategy is seen by many as providing a counterweight to the rising influence of China, though U.S. officials deny this.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 12, 2014 5:47 PM
When is the US going to negotiate an end to its part in this 63.5 year war? I know that President Truman called it a "police action," but everyone else, especially the combat veterans, refer to it as the "Korean War." The North Koreans know that they remain at war with the US, and they sometimes act in ways that appear bizarre, but the North Koreans know that they are in a legal state of war with the richest, most powerful, most technically advanced nation on earth, and that is enough to make most people engage in bizarre actions. A peace treaty might improve their behavior, but it takes two to negotiate.


by: Benedict Arnold from: Georgia
January 10, 2014 10:26 AM
Are we to the point where we no longer care about providing the enemy with sensitive deployment information? A small force could show up at Ft. Hood and cause a lot of damage... as in "Loose lips sink ships," or in this case airplanes and busses.


by: Chris from: Springdale AR
January 08, 2014 10:16 PM
My son is heading there in Febuary from Fort Hood.Yall be safe and we will be thinking of all 800 of y'all.


by: Reggie from: east orange n.j
January 08, 2014 8:54 PM
My son was deployed to South Korea this morning God be with him and stay army strong Son

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
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.
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.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid