April 2, 2013 – Korean Situation Seen as Critical: The U.S. positioned a ship capable of shooting down ballistic missiles near the Korean peninsula, defense officials said, as South Korea President Park Geun-hye called for “strong retaliation” against any provocations from North Korea. Pictured above, the South Korean Army practices with 155 mm artillery pieces.
MS Park said the country’s military should “make a strong and swift response in initial combat without any political considerations.” Her comments signaled an increasing willingness in South Korea to respond forcefully to any attacks, and Washington appeared eager to prevent any rash action by Seoul that could ignite an outright conflict on the peninsula.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said recent moves by the U.S. military were aimed at easing pressure on Seoul to take unilateral action. He said that the U.S. hasn’t seen evidence the North Korean military has begun large-scale mobilizations, and that recent rhetoric from Pyongyang was a repeat of past behavior.
Mr. Carney’s remarks appeared aimed at reminding Seoul not to take overly aggressive steps. He didn’t comment on Ms. Park’s comments on Monday, but said U.S. officials were in close contact with South Korean leaders. He said the U.S. measures in the region were “designed to be both reassuring to our allies in the region and…making clear that unilateral action is not necessary.”
Indeed the U.S. appears to have stepped up its own displays of might at least in part to prevent South Korea from having to take any sort of provocative military move, without undermining the South Korean government or creating an incentive for further provocations by the North. Follow the link below for the article, video, pictures and comments. (Credits: The Wall Street Journal).
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