Monday, July 31, 2006


U.S. treasury official says U.N. resolution legally binding

He also said China, long one of the North’s closest allies but one of the nations that voted to pass the U.N. resolution, has taken "responsible action" in responding to Pyongyang’s alleged illicit activities Jul.28,200Hankyoreh

* The U.S. Army and Air Force are stretched thin because of
Afghanistan. All U.S. forces elsewhere must be prepared to respond to contingencies now unseen. Some U.S. troops from Korea have already served in Iraq and more are likely to deploy there as that conflict goes on.

* The South Koreans are able to defend themselves with minimal help from the U.S. if North Korea attacks. "They are very capable," said Admiral William Fallon, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, "I believe quite capable of providing for the defense of that country."

* Anti-Americanism is rampant in Korea, starting with President Roh Moo Hyun. An expert at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Larry Niksch, reported last week: "Polls have shown majorities or substantial pluralities of South Koreans in favor of the withdrawal of U.S. forces."

* At the same time, Seoul's posture toward North Korea borders on appeasement, compared with the hard line of the U.S. South Korea is tilting toward China, the potential rival of the U.S. in Asia. And South Koreans are ever more critical of Japan, the foremost ally of the U.S. in Asia.

* With U.S. military spending going through the sky because of Iraq, the $11 billion the U.S. had planned to spend on upgrading bases in Korea could be better spent elsewhere, notably on Guam, the U.S. island territory in the western Pacific that is becoming a vital U.S. military base.

The coming pullout of U.S. troops will be the culmination of a gradual slide that started after the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War. When the shooting stopped 53 years ago this month, the U.S. had 326,800 troops in Korea. By 1960, that had dropped to 55,800. It fell again, to 52,000, when more soldiers were needed in the Vietnam war.Richard Halloran
Fri Jul 28

"No reductions have been announced below 25, 000."

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