US, S.Korea prepared for local provocation
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean military General Jung Seung-jo and commander of US Forces Korea General James Thurman signed the Combined Counter-Provocation Plan on Friday in Seoul.
The militaries of the two countries have reviewed their response if North Korea attacks the South.
They had been criticized for an inadequate response to the shelling by North Korea of Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010.
A South Korean Ministry of National Defense official said that the plan lays out how US forces will support the Korean military in responding to attacks based on various scenarios.
A spokesperson of the defense ministry said the North has 200,000 special troops and is developing bio-chemical weapons to strengthen local warfare capability.
Observers say the plan will be used during the joint exercise Foal Eagle, which ends on April 30th.