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Seoul releases defense white paper

Posted December. 05, 2000 13:19,   


The armed forces have decided to regard North Korea as the chief enemy of the South until the real threat of the North ceases to exist, even though it recognizes the progress toward detente between the two Koreas following the groundbreaking summit of their leaders in June.

Clarifying its stand on the controversial concept of enemy in our overall defense context, the Defense White Paper of 2000 published by the Defense Ministry on Monday stated that it will conduct the moral education of troops in a flexible way, taking the changing inter-Korean relations into account.

* Reform of troop education and terms used for North Korea -- We need to be prepared to repel and punish any threat to our territory, by land, sea or air. Preparedness should be maintained even after the other side declared its intention not to wage a war unless such professed intention is proven by substantive arms reduction or disposition of the troops. Troop education calls for instruction in the favorite two-pronged strategies of the Communists for both war and peace.

* Terminology with reference to North Korea has to be toned down to rid itself of the strong expressions of the Cold War period. For example: Kim Jong-Il into Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il; a policy of engaging North Korea into a policy of reconciliation and cooperation; and such negative-sounding expressions as "rule by the teachings of the departed leader (Kim Il-Sung)," brinkmanship, continued infiltration by armed commandos or a policy of appeasing the United States and containing South Korea will be phased out of use.

* North's military threat -- Some changes occurred along the border after the inter-Korean summit such as the cessation of propaganda broadcasting against the South, yet North Korea keeps over 55 percent of its main combat capabilities, with some 40 percent of its 790-odd fighter planes, in the forward areas near the border. Army divisions have been increased by four to 67 while more than 40 MIG fighters acquired last year are redeployed in the Yanggang-do area. Training for infiltration has been continued with additional midget submarines designed for infiltration having been built and deployed.

*U.S. troop reinforcements -- In the event of an emergency in and around the Korean Peninsula the United States is expected to send 690,000 troops, including those marine mobile forces to be drawn from Okinawa, Japan, as well as the U.S. mainland. They will be supported by a carrier fleet with state-of-the-art fighter planes. The strength of reinforcement has been increased from 480,000 men in early 1990 to 630,000 in the middle of the 1990s and then to 690,000 now.