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Video: U.S., S. Korea deploy 'gunboat diplomacy'

  1. Closed captioning of: U.S., S. Korea deploy 'gunboat diplomacy'

    >> the president of south korea said in a speech today that he had "failed to protect them from last we can's attack by north korea ." even as he spoke, a joint u.s.- south korean military exercise was under way in korean waters, an unmistakable show of course. richard engel has the latest from south korea .

    >> reporter: it's old fashioned gun boat diplomacy. just the presence of the 97,000 ton nuclear powered " uss george washington " aircraft carrier and its strike group is meant to send a blunt message to north korea . stop aggression against the south. and american deterrence isn't just at sea. on a snow covered firing range, american soldiers were testing their bradley fighting vehicles . it's a routine drill. not a sign commanders say the united states is preparing for war. the 28,500 american troops here in south korea have been put on a heightened state of readiness. they've increased surveillance of north korea and commanders here say they are ready to respond to any north korean aggression at a moment's notice. captain a.j. boyle says u.s. troops are mostly waiting, watching and ready.

    >> if given the call, we are ready to help defend the republic of korea .

    >> reporter: the mood among american forces is calm.

    >> i don't think they should be taken out of context.

    >> reporter: but the united states and south korea face a tough balancing accused, containing the often unpredictable north without provoking it. today, the south korean president promised repercussion it is the north attacked again. tough talk. but hours later, south korea canceled an artillery drill. south korea wants to push back, but doesn't want war. richard engel , nbc news, south korea .

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