Hagel names general to lead US troops in SKorea

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By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army general who served as a top official on U.S. joint military staffs in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon is the choice to command U.S. troops in South Korea.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the promotion of Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti at a Pentagon news conference Friday.

The moves comes at a tense time on the Korean Peninsula. The North has stepped up missile launches in the region and increased its threats against the U.S. in recent months.

An estimated 28,500 U.S. troops are in South Korea.

Scaparrotti is director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving under the chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey.

He previously headed the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2011-2012.

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