The top commander of U.S. troops in South Korea said on Wednesday he supports moves to withdraw some outposts along the fortified border with North Korea, despite the risks.
South Korea’s defense ministry has said it plans to reduce guard posts and equipment along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on its border with North Korea as part of efforts to reduce tension and build trust with its northern neighbor.
“I have some concerns about what that means militarily for the ability to defend along the Military Demarcation Line,” U.S. General Vincent Brooks told reporters on Wednesday.
But he said that the risk is “a reasonable degree” and the move represents a good opportunity to reduce tensions.
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War, which ended in 1953 in an armistice that left the North Korea technically still at war with South Korea and the U.S.-led United Nations command.