ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 25th, 2013 at 7:03 am

USFK Commander Says US Forces Are Vulnerable In Korea

» by in: USFK

I think the USFK Commander needs to articulate his words a little better because his recent statement in the Stars & Stripes just doesn’t sound right:

The top U.S. military commander in South Korea said this week that he worries about another North Korean provocation, and that U.S. forces are in a period of “high vulnerability” following Pyongyang’s test of a long-range rocket last month.

“I’m not trying to frighten anybody, but that’s the deal,” U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. James Thurman said during a community briefing at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. “What happened on the twelfth of December changed some things over here.”

Statements from high-ranking leaders such as Thurman are unusual at community briefings, which typically address upcoming events and issues of interest solely to the local installations.

He deemed North Korea’s missile launch “highly successful” and said the U.S. military is closely monitoring the North’s actions.

“We’re doing all the right things across all of our components to make sure that we don’t have any potential security problems,” he told the audience.

“I think we’re in good shape on that, but again, we’ve got a dangerous man north of this DMZ up there, and we’ve got to really pay attention to that,” making reference to the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un.

“This guy’s in charge,” he said.  [Stars & Stripes]

The successful launch of the Taepodong-2 last month does nothing to change the balance of power on the Korean peninsula.  The North Koreans are not going to launch a Taepodong-2 to take out Camp Casey.  So the launch does not make US forces more “vulnerable” in Korea.  Maybe he meant that US forces are vulnerable to a provocation from North Korea in response to recent UN sanctions?  However, even that is very unlikely to happen because it has been decades since the North Koreans launched a direct provocation against US forces.  If they launch a provocation it will be against ROK forces where they know there will be little to no consequences.

The North Koreans would have to be really backed into a corner before directly targeting US forces which right now they have not reached that point.  It would take the US implementing real sanctions on the North such as inspecting North Korean ships for them to launch a provocation directly against US forces in Korea. So to say that US forces face a period of “high vulnerability” seems a bit inaccurate to me, but maybe his quote was taken out of context to make a good headline?

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  • Sapper
    7:24 am on January 25th, 2013 1

    It’s called “saber rattling.” And while he’s at it, he’s also asking for more Apaches and artillery and anything else not busy in CENTCOM.

  • JoeC
    7:45 am on January 25th, 2013 2

    It’s especially inappropriate after after the young Jong Un’s recent threats. The comments may give KJU the idea that he is taken seriously and he really is intimidating.

    I hesitate to call a general a newbie, but a quick glance at his career indicates this is his first tour in Korea. So maybe, when it comes to putting the Norks recent comments and activities in the context of all their other comments and activities from the past decades, he just mighty be.

  • Glans
    8:21 am on January 25th, 2013 3

    Vulnerable means they can be hurt. Yes, our forces can be hurt. They know what to do when they get hurt.

  • Teadrinker
    8:34 am on January 25th, 2013 4


    I know, I was under the impression that they are here so that if some of them get hurt, the US will be in within its rights to invade North Korea.

  • Smokes
    9:07 am on January 25th, 2013 5

    Hmm perhaps they should ban the sale of alchohol after 2100, impose a 0100 curfew, and mandate battle buddies. Threat averted, we are invincible!

  • argus mayfield
    10:31 am on January 25th, 2013 6

    USFK is where incompetent generals go to die.

  • tbonetylr
    1:24 pm on January 25th, 2013 7

    It appears he means his underlings are to N.Korean female spies since one has already gotten to him.

  • jslim
    5:02 pm on January 25th, 2013 8

    no sharpe was a pretty good commander

  • Bob
    7:23 pm on January 25th, 2013 9

    Thurman is an idiot

  • Ole Tanker
    9:00 pm on January 25th, 2013 10

    He’s posturing to get more $$$ and troops from the states. Never let a crises go to waste. Make a crises when there is none.

  • raid
    12:15 am on January 26th, 2013 11

    “It would take the US implementing real sanctions on the North such as inspecting North Korean ships ”

    Neither the US ROK or even the UN can do that without restarting a war .
    Article 15 of the armistice – “15. This Armistice Agreement shall apply t all opposing naval forces, which naval forces shall respect the water contiguous to the Demilitarized Zone and to the land area of Korea under the military control of the opposing side, and shall not engage in blockade of any kind of Korea.”
    it would me a automatic declaration of war against the DPRK and China .

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:37 am on January 26th, 2013 12

    @11- The US already has the legal authority to inspect North Korean ships when the PSI was passed:

    The US and South Korea do not strictly enforce the PSI because North Korea has threatened war if it is enforced. Strictly enforcing the PSI would be real sanctions which at this point no one wants to do.

  • E4 Mafia
    8:01 am on January 28th, 2013 13

    Thurman is a boy scout who only excels at taking away liberties of soldiers.

    Screw this gay Army.

  • raid
    7:46 pm on January 29th, 2013 14

    @12 – No they don’t , stopping and forcing inspections on ships in international waters is completely different than stopping and inspecting ships in territorial waters

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    4:52 am on January 30th, 2013 15

    @14- When did I say inspect them in NK territorial waters?

  • raid
    11:31 am on January 31st, 2013 16

    I wasn’t talking about north Korean territorial waters . south Korea can only stop or inspect Nork ships in ROK territorial waters . The UN has never authorised any inspections of DPRK ships in international waters only asked member states to inspect do so in their home territorial water . any attempt by the US or ROK (or any other nation)to stop and search or blockade North ships in international water would be a major breach of the armistice and a act of war .That is the reason why it has never happened

  • raid
    11:35 am on January 31st, 2013 17

    People don’t read the details of of the UN sanctions and instead just read sensational media articles instead .
    like the DPRK is still allowed to export and sell arms and to buy and import arms just not large weapons like tanks and artillery.
    they buy weapons from Europe every year


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