Now this makes sense:
The U.S. military will withdraw most if its forces from the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea this year, an official announced today.
The withdrawal means the United States will no longer have combat troops anywhere on the DMZ except at Panmunjom, where a U.S.-Korean battalion, commanded by a U.S. army lieutenant colonel, remains on guard in what is known as the Joint Security Area.
Therefore South Korea, which has a 600,000-member military, will face North Korea’s armed forces, the world’s fifth largest with 1.1 million soldiers, most of whom are concentrated near the DMZ.
The United States will turn over Observation Post Ouellette, which provides a view into North Korea, as part of a force reshuffle, the official said. U.S. forces will no longer guard the border, except except for the troops at the JSA in Panmunjom.
We’ve been talking about moving south of the DMZ for over a year now, and it’s time we did. Should war come, there’s no reason for the 2nd Infantry Division to take the first hit, especially since a majority of South Koreans no longer want us there, anyway.
South Korea — with more than double the population of the North, and more than quadruple the wealth — can surely defend itself, and only call on American troops as a last resort.
And the further away we are from the DMZ, the less susceptible we are to nuclear blackmail.