May 31st, 2012
12:42 AM ET

U.S. general admits he misspoke about North Korea spying

By Paula Hancocks

A U.S. general in Korea who reportedly said that American troops parachute into North Korea to spy has admitted he was not misquoted in the speech – but that he misspoke.

Brigadier General Neil Tolley, commander of special forces in South Korea, made the comments during a speech at a conference in Florida last week. The Diplomat, a magazine based in Japan, quoted Tolley as saying in the speech that U.S. troops parachute into North Korea to spy on underground military facilities.

Amidst the ensuing controversy, the Pentagon accused the reporter of the piece, David Axe, of misreporting the speech.

“My understanding is that the general's comments were contorted, distorted, misreported and that, you know, there is in no way any substance to the assertion,” Defense Department spokesman George Little said Tuesday

U.S. Forces Korea tell CNN they do not have an actual transcript of the event.

On Wednesday, Tolley offered his take.

“After further review of the reporting, I feel I was accurately quoted,” he said. “In my attempt to explain where technology could help us, I spoke in the present tense. I realize I wasn’t clear in how I presented my remarks.”

He insisted, however, that the United States has at no time sent special operations forces into North Korea.

Such cross-border operations into North Korea would be in violation of the 1953 armistice agreement that brought the Korean War to an end.

The existence of such operations would also jeopardize already strained and sensitive relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

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Filed under: North Korea
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mark

    War, think no want. On Time. Nothing Atomic.

    That's what you get when you read the capitalized words backwords. Hmmmmm....amateurish at best

    May 31, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
  2. Everett Wallace

    No I am not Special Forces, I am ATOMIC. I tell you all this when I come on the seen there is NOTHING left of the enemy, nothing to talk about, no shaking hands when I come to the batllefield and TIME my feet touch the surface its ON.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
  3. Everett Wallace

    A Special Forces General, that's how they think there was no misunderstanding on my end. I expect them to tell me what they WAnt to do. north korea making all of these threats the dmz treaties it's mind boggling. The only ones that were afraid was the politicians and president. I have NO fear, this is on the table now. If north korea even THINK about spitting across the dmz that is an act of WAR and you tear them a new you know what.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply

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