US Troops Tread Carefully Amid Korea Tensions

By Salon Staff

Published March 2, 2012 6:27AM (EST)

OBSERVATION POST OUELLETTE, South Korea (AP) — As South Korea and the United States mobilize this week for their biggest annual war games, U.S. commanders say North Korea's 1.2 million troops are at their peak readiness, following a brief respite after the death of longtime leader Kim Jong Il.

This year's Foal Eagle maneuvers are the first since his son Kim Jong Un assumed power, so Pyongyang's reaction is being closely watched for signs of how the world's youngest commander in chief, believed to be in his late 20s, will lead.

There have been no significant incidents yet, but if war does break out again, the 28,000 U.S. troops in Korea will be right in the thick of it.

Salon Staff

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