The U.S. is worried about South Korea's more aggressive deterrence strategy against North Korea, which was formulated after the North's attacks on the Navy corvette Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island last year, a government source said Sunday.
The military has been instructed to strike back faster and more aggressively in the event of any further provocations by the North.
"After the North's attack on the Cheonan last year, Gen. Walter Sharp, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, expressed concerns about our military's increase of firepower near the demilitarized zone," the government source said. "Since the start of this year, the U.S. has asked officially and unofficially for explanations of the military's aggressive deterrence strategy against the North."
The source added some State Department officials "worry about escalation if the military's aggressive deterrence is implemented near the DMZ."
The military has reportedly explained to the U.S. that Seoul's the strategy does not include preemptive strikes but is to be implemented in a limited way against local provocations by the North.
Since he took office late last year, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin has been saying that the military has been too timid in responding to these provocations and stuck to the letter of rules of engagement.