Posted June. 03, 2009 07:37,
The deputy commander of U.S. forces in South Korea said yesterday that the U.S. Air Force stationed in the South is fully ready to suppress and defeat North Korean aggression.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington said this in an exclusive interview with The Dong-A Ilbo at his office in Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.
The Korea-U.S. Combined Air Force is so strong that it can tackle any threat, not to mention aggression by the North Korean air force, he said.
Remington concurrently holds four posts: deputy commander of the U.N. Command; deputy commander of the U.S. Forces Korea; commander of the Air Component Command; and commander of the U.S. 7th Air Force.
He said the main mission of the U.S. F-22 Stealth fighter fleets stationed in Guam, Alaska and Kadena, Japan, is countering a North Korean attack.
Remington added the U.S. Air Force Korea is seeking to modernize itself, including F-16 jet fighters deployed on the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. Air Force Korea will soon dismiss and retire high altitude U-2 reconnaissance planes in operation, and deploy ultra-high altitude unmanned reconnaissance planes, or Global Hawks, to introduce high-tech weapons more extensively.
If the South Korean Air Force also introduces and operates Global Hawks, the combined forces will significantly boost their joint surveillance capability, he said.
North Korea maintains a massive military force that is deemed the fourth strongest in the world, and has extensively positioned troops as special welfare and infantry forces, which rank among the largest and strongest in the world, on the inter-Korean border area, Remington said.
Pyongyang has demonstrated its nuclear capability through nuclear tests, posing a serious threat to the security of South Korea, he added.
Remington also urged the international community to form a joint response at the U.N. level to counter the Norths series of military threats, pressing Pyongyang to immediately stop raising tension on the peninsula.