Talks will be starting shortly on the gradual withdrawal of United States ground forces from South Korea.
GV & CU Troops leaving bunker and climbing observation tower (3 shots)
GV Over Demilitarized zone
1950 (BW) GV U.S. marines in landing craft landing on Korean coast
GV Machine gun and artillery fire in Korean war
GV Troops with flame thrower burning village (3 shots)
1976 (COL) GV Coffins draped with U.S. flag carried onto aircraft (3 shots)
GV & CU American and South Korean soldiers preparing tank gun
GV Tank past camera
CU American and Korean officers watching tank manoeuvres (2 shots)
1977 GV & CU Mondale and Fukuda meeting in Tokyo (3 shots)
SCU Mondale speaking
GV & CU U.S. fighter aircraft and pilots on runway in Korea (4 shots)
GV & CU Heavy guns being uncovered and checked (6 shots)
At present, there are about 40-thousand American servicemen in South Korea. Nearly half of them are infantrymen of the 2nd Division, stationed between Seoul and the North Korean border. They help to keep watch on the demilitarized zone which separates the two Koreas. These are the troops most likely to be withdrawn. Other American troops still in Korea include a missile command and airfield defence forces, who will not necessarily be included in the present withdrawal plans. The operation is to be phased over about five years.
American troops have been in Korea since the war of the early 1950s. They made up the bulk of the United Nations force that was sent to the aid of South Korea after it was attacked from the north. After the fighting ended in 1953, they stayed on under the terms of a mutual security pact.
Occasionally, they have been involved in clashes with North Korean forces. Only last year, two American officers were killed in the demilitarized zone. They were supervising a working party of South Koreans trimming trees, and were attacked by North Korean guards.
For about five years, the Americans have been training the South Koreans to take over their own defence. They have also provided funds to modernise the equipment of the South Korean army. The South Koreans say their own defence programme will give them superiority over the north by 1980 -- two years before the United States withdrawal is due to be completed.
The United States has kept Japan fully informed about its intentions in South Korea. Vice-President Mondale discussed the question with the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Fukuda, on a visit to Tokyo in February. Then he gave a press conference.
MONDALE: "With respect to Korea, I emphasised our concern to maintain a stable situation on the Korean peninsula. I cited that we would phase down our ground forces only in close consultation and co-operation with the governments of Japan and South Korea. We will maintain our 8th air capability in Korea and continue to assist in up-grading Korean self-defence capabilities."
The air strength to which Mr. Mondale referred is made up of three squadrons of Phantoms of the United States Air Force. They are not included in the withdrawal plans. Military aircraft is one department in which South Korea lags far behind the North at present.
Nothing has been said about the tactical nuclear warheads which the United States keep in Korea. One thing reasonably certain is that if she pulled them out of South Korea, she would not be allowed to deploy them anywhere else on the Asian side of the Pacific.
PART BLACK AND WHITE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Talks will be starting shortly on the gradual withdrawal of United States ground forces from South Korea. General George Brown, Chairman of the United States joint Chiefs-of-Staff, and a senior official of the State Department, Mr. Philip Habib, will be visiting Seoul next week to consult the South Korean government. They will then go on to Japan. The proposed withdrawal is in accordance with undertakings given by President Carter during his election campaign.