Seoul: US forces based in South Korea are seeking to deploy weapons here for more advanced war-fighting capabilities, the commander of the forces said Tuesday.
"In order to enhance war-fighting capabilities, I have asked for prioritization to receive an additional attack and reconnaissance squadron to bring our combat aviation brigade to full strength," Gen. James Thurman, commander of U.S. forces here, told a forum in Seoul.
"I have asked for increased capabilities in terms of theater ballistic missile defense" to maintain a strong defense readiness, the commander said, adding he is "confident" that the Pentagon will approve the request.
The remarks come amid heightened tension on the divided peninsula, with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) accusing South Korea of insulting its leadership.
The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, with the 28,500-strong U.S. military presence here serving as a defense umbrella for its ally.
Following the two deadly border incidents in 2010 that Seoul blames on Pyongyang, officials here have repeatedly vowed to strike back if attacked again.
First Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 13:40