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A U.S. Army Europe spokesman denied Friday a South Korean media report that commanding Gen. B.B. Bell had been tapped to assume command of U.S. Forces Korea.

As of Friday, President Bush has not nominated Bell for another duty following his command in Europe, said Joe Garvey.

Bell assumed command of USAREUR in December 2002 and of NATO’s Allied Land Component Command in March 2004. He also has served with a tank battalion in South Korea.

Gen. Leon J. LaPorte took the helm of USFK, the Combined Forces Command and the United Nations Command in May 2002 and has extended his tour twice, the last time in November.

Garvey said U.S. Army Europe was “caught by surprise” by the report from The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s most prominent newspaper.

“I have no idea where they would have gotten something like that,” he said.

USFK officials also have had little to say about the report.

“We cannot confirm the report at this time,” said command spokesman David Oten.

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