The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General David Jones, had talks with South Korean military chiefs in Seoul on Friday (2 September).
The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General David Jones, had talks with South Korean military chiefs in Seoul on Friday (2 September). His visit follows plans by President Jimmy Carter to withdraw nearly 33,000 American ground troops from South Korea in the next five years.
SYNOPSIS: One of the first people General Jones met on Friday was the South Korean Chief of Staff General Choo Young Bock. The meeting took place at the Air Force base where General Jones inspected a guard of honour. President Carter has agreed to strengthen the 7,000 strong U.S. Air Force contingent which will remain in South Korea as part of his pledge of continued U.S. protection. An extra 12 jets will also be provided to go with the 60 F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft now there.
General Jones also met the South Korean Joint Chief General Ro Jae Hyun on Friday. His talks follow a visit by U.S. Defence Secretary Harold Brown in July when the withdrawal plans were announced. Then, negotiators agreed to set up a combined military structure commanded by a U.S. General. A Korean General will be deputy and serve as second in command when the new structure is established in about a year's time. The command would remain under the United Nations -- as it has since the Korean armistice 24 years ago.
The South Korean Defence Minister, Suh Jyong-Chul was present at both sets of talks. He has told the United States the modernisation of the country's defence forces with American weapons must be completed before the withdrawal. The size of the arms programmes has not yet been resolved.