US denies parachuting into North Korea
Brigadier General Neil Tolley reportedly said the US troops had been entering the North Korea for ``special reconnaissance`` missions.
Washington: The US military has denied reports that its special forces have parachuted into North Korea to gather intelligence on that country`s underground military installations, saying a source had been misquoted.
According to the Herald Sun, current affairs magazine The Diplomat had quoted Brigadier General Neil Tolley, commander of special forces in South Korea, saying that American and South Korean troops had been entering the North Korea for ``special reconnaissance`` missions.
However, Colonel Jonathan Withington, public affairs officer for US Forces Korea, said some reporting of the conference had taken Brigadier General Tolley ``completely out of context``.
"Quotes have been made up and attributed to him," Withington said, denying that any US or South Korean forces had parachuted into North Korea.
"Though special reconnaissance is a core special operations force (SOF) mission, at no time have SOF forces been sent to the north to conduct special reconnaissance," he said.
The Diplomat had quoted Brigadier General Tolley saying that North Korea had built thousands of tunnels since the Korean War.
"The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites," the magazine had quoted Tolley as saying at a press conference in Florida. "So we send (South Korean) soldiers and US soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance," the magazine quoted Tolley.