U.S. Army Gen. Neil Tolley, commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in South Korea, told an audience in Tampa that U.S. and South Korean forces have been sent into North Korea to spy on the communist country’s vast collection of underground tunnels and military installations.

The extraordinary admission, which went unreported by U.S. media, came on May 22 during the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. Tolley said his command has identified 20 airfields and 180 munitions factories that are partially underground, along with thousands of subterranean artillery positions.

“The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites,” Tolley added, according a report published Monday by The Diplomat, a Japan-based foreign affairs magazine.

“So we send ROK [Republic of Korea] soldiers and U.S. soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance.”

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