Friday, September 19, 2014

US Seeks to Keep Artillery Brigade Near Korean DMZ |

US Seeks to Keep Artillery Brigade Near Korean DMZ | The U.S. wants to keep an artillery brigade stationed near the Demilitarized Zone after the planned relocation of American forces to the southern half of South Korea, according to media reports.

The request to keep the 2nd Infantry Division's 210th Fires Brigade at Camp Casey was made earlier this week during military consultations in Seoul, according to South Korea's Yonhap News. U.S. officials claimed that moving the brigade would hurt its combat readiness, and have "repeatedly and strongly" pushed to keep the unit in Dongducheon, the report said, citing unidentified diplomatic sources.

Officials from South Korea's Ministry of National Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff would not comment Friday. But earlier this month, South Korean officials said the U.S. would not leave residual forces along the DMZ, though American officials didn't rule out the prospect of leaving some troops behind "temporarily."

A spokeswoman for U.S. Forces Korea said Friday that "any decision to temporarily leave U.S. forces north of the Han (River) will be based on operational necessity. The goal of all (South Korean) and U.S. alliance initiatives is to build adaptive capabilities to deter and defeat future provocations and fight and win should deterrence fail."