Two Koreas, US militaries lower alert: report

The North Korean units had been on special standby but now appear to be on routine operations, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

Two Koreas, US militaries lower alert: report

South Korean and U.S. forces have downgraded their military alert against the North based on intelligence that Pyongyang has relaxed the standby status of military units on the west coast, a news report said on Friday.

The North Korean units had been on special standby but now appear to be on routine operations, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

"We're looking at whether these steps are linked to the conciliatory gestures coming from the North with its offer for talks," Yonhap quoted the government source as saying.

South Korea's defence ministry and an official at the Combined Forces Command declined to confirm the report. "We do not discuss intelligence matters," the official said.

North Korea on Wednesday called for unconditional talks with the South to ease tensions, which Seoul rejected as "propaganda" it did not take seriously.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, speaking in New York on Thursday, renewed China's appeal for emergency talks between the heads of delegation of the six-party talks.

In a show of force, U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson will lead a strike group that includes a destroyer and a cruiser as well as fighter jet and anti-submarine helicopter squadrons, on port calls at South Korea's southern harbour cities on Tuesday.

The strike group is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and has no plans to engage in military drills while in South Korean waters, the Combined Forces Command said.

The carrier will conduct exercises in the East China Sea with the Japanese navy, involving landing helicopters on each others' vessels, NHK said on Friday.


Reuters

Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2011, 16:36
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