No, we're not. Yes, you are.
No, we're not. Yes, you SAID so.
Errrr, we were speaking hypothetically.
Tokyo-based online international affairs mag The Diplomat reported this week that US Army Brig.Gen.Neil Tolley (US special forces boss in Sth.Korea) said US troops have secretly parachuted into Nth.Korea (DPRK) on spy missions with Sth.Korean soldiers.
The proverbial must have hit the Pentagon fan, coz the next day The Diplomat wrote: "While the author strongly disputes the contention that any quote was fabricated, we acknowledge the possibility that Brig.Gen.Tolley was speaking hypothetically, about future war plans rather than current operations. The author insists he heard no such qualification, but if there has been a misunderstanding then we regret any confusion."
On his own blog, the journo David Axe wrote: "The Diplomat has yanked my 'Commandos In Nth.Korea' story, under pressure from those who claim I made up Brig.Gen.Tolley’s comments. I did not make them up. Multiple sources confirm Tolley's words. And I'm told no transcript will be made available. US Forces Korea is lying about what happened..."
Army Times reporter Sean Naylor: "I was there....Tolley clearly said ROK and US troops were in DPRK for recon, as Dave reported."
Whatever the truth, it should be no surprise. The Korean War never officially finished. The border is rife with minor skirmishes. The air is filled with vitriolic verbage. Nth.Korea is increasing its military. There's no possibility of recon NOT being undertaken (they'll be doing the same right now in Iran). The fact is, US is very focused on the Korean Peninsula, esp. after DPRK's latest test-launch/crash of a ballistic rocket.
A fortnight ago was twice-yearly Exercise Max Thunder between US and South Korea, the largest Air Combat Command exercise in Korea. Traditionally for fighter planes, less than 2hrs beforehand US added high-altitude B-52 bombers to the mix. Interesting. An exercise liaison officer said: "It’s important to show what we bring to the fight. During an actual war, B-52s would support the fight. So it’s important to exercise those capabilities now."
It must have impressed South Korea. It should have done the same with China, a DPRK supporter. And if it didn't make Kim Jong-Un take notice, then he really is as stupid as his haircut!