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Posted: 6/2/2003 3:26:24 PM EDT
U.S. Seeks Ability to 'Take Down' N. Korea Quickly By Carol Giacomo TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. plans to transform allied forces at the Korean demilitarized zone would be aimed ensuring U.S. and South Korean forces could begin "taking down" the North's frontline from the first hour of a war, a senior U.S. defense official said Monday. General Leon Laporte, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, was working on a plan which was "quite a transformation in the way both our countries would be postured," the official said. "While we can't completely compensate for the fact that North Korea has so much stuff right up forward on the DMZ, we could begin taking it down from the first hour of the war and that would make a big difference," the official said. "It would save lives and ultimately it has to strengthen deterrence." The communist North has thousands of loaded artillery pieces aimed at Seoul and half of its army is deployed within 40 miles of the DMZ dividing the peninsula, the world's most heavily fortified border. The United States has branded North Korea, which it suspects of building nuclear weapons, part of an "axis of evil" along with pre-war Iraq and Iran. For its part, North Korea has accused the United States of using the nuclear issue as an excuse for an eventual attack. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the present U.S. military posture at the North-South border "sacrifices a good deal of military capability for the symbolism of having some American soldiers on the DMZ. "It means if North Korea were to attack we would spend a lot of the first period of time ... reorganizing and regrouping in order to start hitting back," he added. Other U.S. officials said under plans now being developed, U.S. and South Korean forces would be consolidated in two general areas away from the DMZ and this would be more threatening to the North. In event of a war, these forces could skirt the DMZ and head straight for Pyongyang and the North Korean leadership. "This is (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-il's worst nightmare," one official said. The United States backed the South in the 1950-53 Korean conflict which ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty, meaning the North and South are technically still at war. 06/02/03 08:30 © Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.
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Link Posted: 6/2/2003 3:32:31 PM EDT
sounds good to me
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