TEMPO.CO, Washington - The United States will deploy troops and heavy tanks to South Korea as part of military rebalance following rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The Pentagon announced on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, that the US will ship 40 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 800 soldiers, and 40 Bradley fighting vehicles from the 1st US Cavalry Division.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted millitary officials saying that the new troops and weapons will be stationed at North Gyeonggi Province, south of the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas.
The deployment came during raised tensions on the peninsula after North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, executed his uncle in December 2013.
North Korea under Jong-un has continued to develop nuclear weapons and test missiles even though doing so is against UN resolutions.
Regarding the deployment, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said, as quoted by Al Jazeera, "The United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united, without an inch of daylight between us.”
US Army Colonel Steve Warren said, "This addition is part of the rebalance to the Pacific. It's been long planned and is part of our enduring commitment to security on the Korean peninsula.”
The US has 28,000 troops in South Korea, which has technically remained at war with North Korea since the Korean War in 1950-1953.
AL JAZEERA | CHOIRUL