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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.