Tuesday, April 13, 2004

U.S. to leave the DMZ 

After 50 years, the U.S. will stop patrolling the DMZ between North and South Korea at the end of October.

It isn't clear, however, whether this latest move, intended to downplay the U.S. presence, will make too many people, across the political specrtum happy - Korea's conservatives worry that removing U.S. forces from the DMZ removes an important security tripwire, while liberals complain that the U.S. will now build new bases further to the south to replace the reployed soldiers.

Personally, I welcome the move. Our soldiers have been there for the past 50 years to help protect South Korea from the North. However, over the years weapons and politics have changed. Our soldiers at the DMZ are sitting ducks, if the North decides to attack. It's one thing to be a "tripwire", but another to be killed instantly, at the start of a conflict, by a missile is another. Having our troops dispersed, away from the border probably makes some sense. S. Korea's military should do the heavy lifting, with the U.S. backing them up.


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