January 16, 2018 11:46
The U.S. will dispatch more special operations troops to South Korea during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and conduct training in preparation for war with North Korea, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The U.S. Defense Department has proposed the two allies' defense ministers meet later this month to discuss joint military drills that have been postponed till after the Olympics.
The daily said the U.S. "practiced moving troops and equipment under live artillery fires" at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in December involving 48 Apache and Chinook helicopters. Planned for next month is an exercise practicing how to move "military forces overseas in a hurry."
The "scope and timing of the exercises suggest a renewed focus on getting the country's military prepared for what could be on the horizon with North Korea," it added.
The Pentagon also plans to send more special operations troops to South Korea during the Olympics, and the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is expected to arrive near the Korean Peninsula around the opening of the games.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis wants to meet with Defense Minister Song Young-moo in Hawaii in late January.
The meeting is expected to focus on planning for the annual joint military drills that have been postponed until April. The U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii handles American troop deployments to the Korean Peninsula in times of crisis.
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