As Rodman visits, US bolsters force against North Korea

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that 800 soldiers, about 40 Abrams battle tanks and 40 armored infantry fighting vehicles would be deployed to South Korea next month as part of the Defense Department’s “rebalance” of forces across Asia and the Pacific. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/world/asia/additional-us-battalion-going-to-south-korea.html?ref=world
Pentagon officials confirmed that the additional troops and armor would increase combat readiness and war-fighting ability for the United States and South Korea.
Pentagon officials said the rotation of the additional Army battalion into South Korea would still leave the number of American service members there below 28,500, as set out by treaty.
Some brigades that historically had been based in South Korea were moved to the Middle East for the wars of the past decade, and President Obama had vowed to rebalance the efforts of the government — diplomatic, economic and military — to the Asia-Pacific region as the conflict in Iraq ended and the one in Afghanistan wound down.
The order to rotate an additional Army battalion into South Korea may be viewed as a step to quiet critics who have complained that the new Asia-Pacific policy has been mostly talk, with little done to specifically carry it out.
Over recent months, the Pentagon has ordered a number of measures to deter North Korean aggression and to reassure an important ally, South Korea.
At times of tension, in particular over North Korea’s nuclear or missile program, the Pentagon has sent advanced fighters, stealth bombers and ballistic-missile-defense warships on temporary assignment in and around South Korea.
The troop rotation was announced as Secretary of State John Kerry met here with his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se.
“The United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united — without an inch of daylight between us, not a sliver of daylight — on the subject of opposition to North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities, and the international community stands with us,” Mr. Kerry said.

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