Home>News Center>World

Seoul: 690,000 US forces to help in case of war
Updated: 2005-02-04 16:47

The United States will deploy 690,000 military personnel to help defend South Korea in case of an outbreak of war, South Korea's Defense Ministry said in a White Paper released on February 4.

The new White Paper, the first in four years, tried to sidestep a political minefield by avoiding naming the enemy US forces might have to fight against.

North Korea is no longer South Korea's "main enemy," a phrase that angered Pyongyang when it was included in the last White Paper in 2000 and has been left out of this one.

Now, North Korea is simply referred to as a "military threat," in the new policy document that reflects the South Korean goverment's goal of reconciliation with Pyongyang.

The 2004 Defence White Paper said more than 690,000 servicemen in augmentation forces would be brought in to the Korean peninsula in case of an all-out war, including the army, navy, air force, and marine corps units.

The augmentation forces would be dispatched to join more than 30,000 US troops already based in South Korea and some 650,000 South Korea forces.

US forces deployed to the Korean peninsula would be made up of army divisions, carrier battle groups with advanced fighter planes, tactical fighter wings, and marine expeditionary forces based on the Japanese island of Okinawa and on the US mainland, the policy document said.

"The United States has a plan to send more than 40 percent of its entire navy, more than half of its airforce and more than 70 percent of its marine corps to defend South Korea," it said.

"This shows the United States is firmly determined in its will to help defend the Korean Korean peninsula," the White Paper said.

The augmentation forces of more than 690,000 US military personnel would be backed by 160 vessels and 1,600 aircraft, according to the White Paper.

The 2004 White Paper was the first since the ministry suspended publication of the periodical following the dispute over the paper's reference to North Korea as its "main enemy."

Citing the continuing use of the "main enemy" label Pyongyang accused Seoul of a breach of an inter-Korean declaration for peace and reconciliation signed at a historic 2000 summit meeting.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

US knocked for trying to block EU arms ban end



Private enterprises expanding quickly



Homeward-bound told to travel light



44 babies rescued from traffickers



Bombings, arson and rape cases on the dive



Plane with 96 on board missing in Afghanistan


  US to pull 15,000 troops out of Iraq
  Plane with 96 on board missing in Afghanistan
  Iran condemns Bush speech on terrorism
  Shiite leads Iraq vote; 3 marines killed
  Annan vows action against UN staff in Iraq program
  Rumsfeld says he offered to resign twice
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?