Friday, March 9, 2012

Is US Military in South Korea for ‘Display Purposes Only’?

Controversy is brewing after a leaked memo reportedly sent from Washington to Seoul appeared to remind the South Korean government to treat North Korea carefully as US military forces stations in the southern nation were for "display purposes only".

The US has stood by and watched as the warship Cheonan was sunk, and Yeonpyeong Island was shelled, responding with low key offers to North Korea of talks and food aid rather than the kind of belligerent saber-rattling which it is used to be known for and which so impressed the Soviets.

In recent years the US military has specialized in weapons and tactics aimed at fighting much weaker opponents that make the tax-dollar burning military-industrial complex look good, but the idea that it good fight a conventional war against a well-armed opponent is mostly PR, according to experts. Washington is said to be fearful of Beijing, after accusing the communist nation of taking its lunch money.

But the US has for understanding for its careful handling of the American military in Korea. "It loses its value if you take it out of its box" said a senior official.

Related Links
U.S. 'Feared Escalation After Yeonpyeong Attack'
Facing Down North Korea With Weak Words
How Long Will US Forces Continue to Occupy Japan and Korea? China, the US and the New Division of Power in the Asia-Pacific
U.S., N.Korea Work out Details of Food Aid Deal
China Rejects U.S. Complaints on Its Currency

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