US General Says He Misspoke in North Korea Comments

Posted May 31st, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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The commander of U.S. special forces in South Korea says he misspoke at a conference last week when he appeared to suggest that U.S. military commandos were parachuting into North Korea.

Army Brigadier General Neil Tolley said in a statement Wednesday that his comments “should have been clearer.” But he denied that U.S. special forces have been sent into the communist country – an action that would violate the armistice signed at the end of the Korean War.

Tolley's comments at a special forces industry conference in Florida were picked up The Diplomat, Japan-based publication, earlier this week.

The report quoted Tolley as saying that U.S. and South Korean commandos were taking part in a reconnaissance mission aimed at uncovering information on underground military installations built by Pyongyang.

The U.S. military initially rejected the report, saying its author – David Axe – had either misunderstood or made up the general's comments. But Axe's report was later corroborated by several other journalists who had attended the conference.

Tolley's statement on Wednesday acknowledged that he was quoted accurately by the publication. He said that although he spoke about the alleged special forces operations in the present tense, he only meant for his comments to be taken hypothetically.