USFK Could Defend Taiwan, Ex-Commander Says
The U.S. Forces Korea could be drawn into a possible emergency in Taiwan, a former commander has admitted.Ex-USFK chief Robert Abrams on Tuesday said American soldiers stationed here "might" be mobilized to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China.The prospects of U.S. military intervention in Taiwan is being mentioned more frequently as tensions mount between Washington and Beijing over the island country, which China considers a renegade province.Asked about the possibility of the USFK being mobilized to defend Taiwan in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Tuesday, Abrams said, "the U.S. will preserve all options in determining what forces might be used... including those assigned to USFK."But he added, "The [U.S.-South Korea] alliance has several options available to it to maintain deterrence against North Korea in the event of a Taiwan scenario where some USFK forces might be employed."But the Defense Ministry here insisted the priority of the USFK is to defend the South against North Korea. In a regular briefing on Tuesday, a defense ministry official declined to comment directly on Abrams' remarks but added, "Earlier, U.S. Forces Korea Commander Paul LaCamera said the priority of American troops stationed here is to suppress and respond to a North Korean invasion."