By John Sudworth BBC News, Seoul
The commander of US forces in South Korea has told the BBC he welcomes plans to strengthen the military alliance between the two countries. In an exclusive interview, General Burwell Baxter Bell describes the proposals for a closer partnership as “positive and reassuring”.
For more than half a century, the strategic relationship between the two countries has meant that there are large numbers of US soldiers deployed in support of South Korean troops.
Today, Gen Bell commands a force of around 28,000.
But many observers believe the alliance has been tested and strained in recent years, as two successive liberal governments in Seoul pursued closer ties with Pyongyang – the so-called “sunshine policy”.
This strategy of engagement tried to coax the North to reform by offering large amounts of aid and assistance.
But the parallel approach to secure nuclear disarmament through tough-talking international negotiations often left Washington and Seoul speaking with different voices.
Read the rest: