Lt. Gen. Scaparrotti picked to lead US forces in S.Korea
- Published: 18/05/2013 at 07:49 AM
- Online news:
A US Army officer who served at the top echelon in the Afghanistan war and at the Pentagon has been picked to lead American forces in South Korea, according to officials.
Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of ISAF Joint Command, holds a press conference with the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 15, 2012. Scaparrotti, who served at the top echelon in the Afghanistan war and at the Pentagon, has been picked to lead American forces in South Korea, according to officials.
Lieutenant General Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, if confirmed by the Senate, will take over at a delicate moment after North Korea toned down weeks of bellicose rhetoric that saw tensions soar and US forces reinforced in the region.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday announced at a news conference that President Barack Obama will nominate Scaparrotti to succeed General James Thurman in South Korea.
During Thurman's tenure, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il died and was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Un, who threatened nuclear war with the United States during the recent crisis.
Thurman "had done a tremendous job for our country" during a "very uncertain time," Hagel said, adding that his "steady, wise leadership has really counted."
Scaparrotti currently serves as the director of the Joint Staff, under the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, the military's top officer.
Dempsey also praised Thurman and said Scaparrotti had displayed "quiet confidence" and excellence in his career, including as the head of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force joint command in Kabul in 2011-2012.
Scaparrotti earlier commanded 82nd Airborne Division troops in eastern Afghanistan.
The US military commander in South Korea oversees about 28,500 American troops.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency