January 10, 2012 09:22
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Jung Seung-jo and his U.S. counterpart Martin Dempsey will sign a joint operational plan to counter potential provocations by North Korea. Jung will visit the U.S. for the signing at the end of the month.
"Since the North's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, Seoul and Washington have worked out a joint plan to mobilize both South Korean and U.S. troops for operations to counter provocations by the North," a senior Defense Ministry official said Monday. "The South Korean military will take the initiative in carrying out the plan and the U.S. Forces Korea will provide support."
He said the U.S. will deploy E-3 Sentry AWACS to keep precision watch over the movements of the North's ground weapons, Air Force and artillery batteries, and fighter jets such as the U.S. Forces Japan's FA-18s. USFJ marines and equipment will also be mobilized.
Jung's U.S. visit comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death late last year, which experts fear could result in a climate where the North Korean regime feels it needs to carry out military provocations to cement its grip at home.
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