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.
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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs