The situation between the US and North Korea remains tenuous and characterized by uncertainty. North Korea’s cancellation of the upcoming summit with South Korea over the recent US/South Korean joint military exercises underscores the fragile nature of the proposed talks between the two countries. While the United States Department of State continues to prepare for the June 12 meeting between the US and North Korea, President Trump, speaking to reporters on Tuesday in the Oval Office said the summit “may not work out”. As recently as March 2018, Vice President Pence stated that “all options on the table”. Among those options are of course the US Military, including Special Operations Forces, who would no doubt play a critical role in any US Military involvement on the Korean Peninsula.
Last June The Cipher Brief spoke with Retired Special Forces Colonel David Maxwell, who shared his perspective on how US and South Korean Special Operations Forces would potentially partner in support of combined efforts in the region, a combination that he says would provide a “powerful capability”.
Tensions are rising on the Korean Peninsula. There is fear that the Korean War could restart, since there has only been a temporary suspension of hostilities since the 1953 Armistice. Although this fear is not new and we have experienced high tensions many times over the years, given the global security situation, with two new administrations in Washington and Seoul and the uncertainty of Kim Jong-un’s future actions, some fear that the chances for some form of conflict are greater than ever. There is great focus on North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities, continuing North Korean provocations to gain political and economic concessions, and the potential for a conventional war. But there is little focus on the combined special operations forces of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the U.S., except for occasional rhetoric.