The South Korean military authorities rebutted the possibility of the USFK deployed for a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan after Former USFK Commander Robert Abrams mentioned such a scenario.
According to the Radio Free Asia on Monday, the retired general, who led the USFK from 2018 to 2021, said it would be “possible” to deploy the USFK forces when asked if there is any possibility that the USFK might be mobilized in the event that China invades Taiwan. “It is up to the United States to choose what forces should be used to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan,” he said. “The ROK-US alliance has several options to deter North Korea even if parts of the USFK forces are deployed for Taiwan.” Mr. Abrams said it would be inappropriate to disclose the details about the deterrence options. He handed over the command of the USFK to Gen. Paul LaCamera in July last year.
“The U.S. forces at Kadena Air Base of Japan and Osan Air Base of Korea are stationed closer to Taiwan than any other air forces from the mainland U.S.,” said Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher and military expert for North Korea at the RAND Corporation. “In the event of a Chinese invasion, the U.S. Air Forces in Osan or Gunsan in South Korea might be deployed to Taiwan,” the RFA reported.
The Korean military authorities stressed that the top priority of the USFK is deterrence against North Korea. “It is inappropriate (for the defense ministry) to rebut a comment made by a former USFK commander as he is a civilian,” said Moon Hong-sik, the deputy spokesperson of the South Korean Defense Ministry, citing Mr. LaCamera, the incumbent USFK comment, who said the top priority for the US forces stationed in South Korea is to deter a potential North Korean invasion. Mr. Moon added that Seoul and Washington are closely aligned when it comes to the operation of the USFK and that the two allies are maintaining a watertight defense posture.
Sang-Ho Yun firstname.lastname@example.org