Sunday, April 17, 2005


More Asian tremors as US sabotages its relationship with only strong Asian ally

South Korea could almost be guaranteed to be in the US corner. No more. SOUTH Korea's National Security Council has disclosed it recently vetoed a US plan to mobilise a joint military operation in the event of North Korea's internal collapse.... "After reviewing it, the NSC determined that some points in the plan could serve as factors limiting South Korea's exercise of its sovereignty," South Korea's peak security co-ordination agency said. ...Last night, a regional security analyst in Tokyo described the disclosure as "extraordinary" and said it was certain to drive another wedge into the US-Korean relationship...Though the US last year agreed to maintain a leaner USFK in South Korea, reduced from the current 32,500 troops to 25,000 by 2008, bickering has continued about the US military presence, which is resented by many of the younger voters ...In the latest dispute, the South Koreans have asked for their financial contribution this year to maintaining the USFK presence to be cut by about 10per cent to $US622million ($807million). The US has responded with plans to cut its Korean civilian workforce by 1000.
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