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Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces, said after meeting his South Korean counterpart that South Korea as a “sovereign nation” had “every right to protect its people in order to effectively carry out its responsibility.”
That remark was seen here to mean that the US would not stand in the way of South Korean commanders ordering fighter jets to bomb and strafe North Korean bases in case of an attack by North Korea on a target in the South.