US troops have been engaging in a series of secret military exercises w
US troops have been engaging in a series of secret military exercises with South Korea army next to the North Korea border as dictator Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore for his historic meeting with Donald Trump.
The covert maneuvers are now being carried out in the hills not far from the North Korean border, just days before the talk begins.
The Express reports: And with Mr. Trump warning the North Korean leader he was getting just “one shot” at achieving peace, US military commanders said they had to be prepared for any eventuality.
Colonel Scott Taylor of the 8th Army said:
“Although peace hopefully is breaking out here on the peninsula, the reality is that we have to be prepared should it reverse and so we’re not going to stop preparing to deter that war.
“Frankly, the military instrument of national power provides the decision space for the diplomacy to succeed.
“We are very hopeful.”
North Korea regularly complains about US troops in South Korea
The presence of 28,500 US personnel on the Korean peninsula has always been seen as a stumbling block to peace with North Korea viewing it as threat to its national security and frequently demanding their removal.
Recent joint drills with the South Koreans enraged Kim who described the moves as “provocation” and threatened to cancel his meeting with Mr Trump because as a result.
The South Korean military recently said Seoul and Washington would not publicise future joint military drills but denied it would scale down or cancel future exercises.
Mr Trump and his defence secretary James Mattis have insisted troop withdrawal will not be up for discussion during the Singapore summit which gets underway at 9am on Tuesday.
US troops are ‘ready for anything’ on the Korean peninsula
But conservative analysts in Seoul fear any peace deal could eventually lead to the US military pulling out of the region, leaving South Korea exposed.
Professor Taewoo Kim from Konyang University said: “Kim Jong-un doesn’t need to demand the removal of troops because once they sign a peace treaty with the US the demand will arise naturally in South Korean people.”
North Korea has the fourth largest military in the world, with around 1.1 million soldiers in its infantry alone.