"U.S. Special Forces have been parachuting into North Korea"

Kunal Biswas

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"U.S. Special Forces have been parachuting into North Korea"



U.S. Special Forces have been parachuting into North Korea to spy on Pyongyang's extensive network of underground military facilities. That surprising disclosure, by a top U.S. commando officer, is a reminder of America's continuing involvement in the "cold war" on the Korean peninsula – and of North Korea's extensive preparations for the conflict turning hot.

In the decades since the end of the Korean War, Pyongyang has constructed thousands of tunnels, Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in South Korea, said at a conference in Florida last week. Tolley said the tunnels include 20 partially subterranean airfields, thousands of underground artillery positions and at least four tunnels underneath the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. "We don't know how many we don't know about," Tolley said.

"The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites," Tolley added. "So we send [Republic of Korea] soldiers and U.S. soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance." Tolley said the commandos parachute in with minimal supplies in order to watch the tunnels without being detected themselves.

Tolley outlined new equipment he said would boost the spies' capabilities without giving them away to North Korean troops. For starters, he said his men could use a lightweight sensor able to "characterize what's in a facility from standoff distance." In addition, the commandos would benefit from a high frequency radio whose signal can't be tracked back to its origin. Finally – and most dramatically – Tolley said a wireless power transmission system would allow his troops to jump into North Korea without heavy loads of batteries for their radios and other gear.



Brig. General Neil Trolley

U.S. Forces Spy on North Korea | Flashpoints



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W.G.Ewald

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A more believable account is here:
Head of Special Operations in Korea Wants Better Intel – DefenseNews.com - Breaking Defense News

Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command Korea says that current ISR platforms aren't getting the job done in his area of operations, mostly because the stuff they really want to see is buried underground.

He said that North Korea has some 180 underground munitions facilities, at least 20 underground air bases, and that are four tunnels burrowed under the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. He's confident that there are "more that we don't know about."

Since this is all hidden from satellites and "our ISR platforms are not as effective as we need them to be," he continued, "we have to put humans there." Tolley termed these missions "special reconnaissance" and to make them more effective he needs better communications, new and better stand-off intelligence gathering equipment, and smaller radios and sensors. "We need something a soldier can carry on his back," he said. Since satellite communications are a problem in the region, he also said his forces need better high frequency radios that are "discrete in direction" when sending signals.
The missions are projected, not current.
 
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W.G.Ewald

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Tolley said the commandos parachute in with minimal supplies in order to watch the tunnels without being detected themselves.
Not credible. Those words would mean death to "commandos."
 

sob

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These media people know how to twist the words, to mean something else entirely.

Thanks Bill for pointing out the correct version, which looks to be the creditable version.

I really like the idea of a conference starting with a Golf Tournament, sets the tempo for the rest of the session.
 

sayareakd

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such talk would mean playing with lives of your soldiers, who wont think twice before followng orders for country.
 

W.G.Ewald

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A spokesman for US forces in South Korea has dismissed the media report.

"Some reporting has taken great liberal licence with his comments and taken him completely out of context," Colonel Jonathan Withington, of the public affairs office of US Forces Korea, said in a statement.

"No US or ROK (Republic of Korea) forces have parachuted into North Korea," he said. "Though special reconnaissance is a core special operations force mission, at no time have SOF forces been sent to the north to conduct special reconnaissance.
US denies reports it parachuted soldiers into North Korea - Telegraph
 

Ray

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I wonder if US SF would parachute into hostile territory and hang around for long.
 

Archer

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I think the General was speaking for a domestic audience and let loose one detail too many..I bet the US and South Korean SF are in North Korea ..
 

W.G.Ewald

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I think the General was speaking for a domestic audience and let loose one detail too many..I bet the US and South Korean SF are in North Korea ..
I have worked at an HQ. In my experience, many generals would benefit from having a handler.
 

W.G.Ewald

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I wonder if US SF would parachute into hostile territory and hang around for long.
Only in support of an insurgency, if I understand the SF mission. The mission BG Tolley describes would be suitable for Marine Recon, I believe.
 

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