MILITARY

Pentagon sending a battalion of 800 soldiers with tanks and other armor to South Korea

The U.S. is sending an additional Army combat force of 800 soldiers to South Korea with tanks and armored troop carriers.

A brief Pentagon announcement said the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy to two locations in South Korea on Feb. 1.

A Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said the increase in troop strength and firepower had been in the planning stages for more than a year and is part of a "rebalance" of U.S. military power toward the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. already has about 28,500 troops in South Korea as an expression of commitment to its defense against North Korean aggression. An armistice, but not a peace treaty, halted the 1950-1953 Korean War.