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South Korea - US military to relocate main base from Seoul to new location
Channel News Asia ^ | April 9, 2003

Posted on 04/08/2003 10:37:38 PM PDT by HAL9000

The US military is planning to relocate its main base from the South Korean capital Seoul to a new location in the country.

"The two sides agreed to relocate Yongsan garrison as soon as possible," a statement said after military talks between the two sides to revitalise their 50-year-old military alliance.

The United States deploys 37,000 troops in South Korea.

The military talks were taking place following massive anti-US protests last year, and calls from South Korea President Roh Moo-Hyun for a more balanced bilateral relationship.

Earlier South Korea's Defence Minister Cho Young-Kil said he opposed any US proposal to pull back its forces from the peninsula, until the North Korean nuclear crisis is over.

South Korea considers the US bases on its soil as a "trip-wire" that would trigger automatic US involvement in any new conflict on the Korean Peninsula.



TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: korea; northkorea; seoul; southkorea; yonsang

1 posted on 04/08/2003 10:37:38 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
Can't relocate North and no point in moving east or west. So maybe we're moving South. That leaves the DMZ guard for the SK to take care of. I hope this is the first phase in getting us out of there altogether.
2 posted on 04/08/2003 10:41:58 PM PDT by gcruse (If they truly are God's laws, he can enforce them himself.)
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To: HAL9000

U.S. to Shift Seoul Garrison as Soon as Possible

SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday it would relocate a sprawling garrison in central Seoul as soon as possible as part of a realignment of its 37,000-strong troop contingent in South Korea.

Washington has kept troops stationed on the divided peninsula for 50 years to deter North Korea, but many South Koreans -- particularly the young with no memories of the U.S. role in the 1950-53 Korean War -- have come to resent their presence.

After an initial two-day meeting of senior South Korean and U.S. officials on how to alter the size and location of the U.S. forces, a joint statement said the two sides had agreed to shift the Yongsan garrison in Seoul "as soon as possible."

The statement said the aim was "to resolve inconveniences to Seoul citizens."

The United States, it said, expressed understanding of South Korean concerns regarding the alignment of its troops, including the presence of the 2nd Infantry Division stationed just south of the fortified Demilitarized Zone that bisects the peninsula.

The United States would "consolidate" the structure of its bases, the statement said. Plans call for fewer bases and for the bases to be away from towns and cities where possible.

The formal troops talks were the first since President Roh Moo-hyun came to office in February vowing to seek a more equal partnership with Washington.

But since he took power, Roh has urged Washington not to make any hasty decisions while the standoff over North Korea continues. Washington, by contrast, is pushing for some changes soon even as it keeps an eye on North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons ambitions, diplomats say.

The talks could result in pulling back some troops from positions near the border with the North or withdrawing some from the South altogether. The South fears that could send the wrong signal to North Korea.

The statement said the two governments had agreed in principle that, as U.S. troops are shifted, the South Korean military would take on an expanded role by assuming responsibility for selected missions.

"The two sides agreed that there would be no compromise in the combined deterrence of their forces throughout the process of realignment," it said.

The talks were co-chaired by Richard Lawless, U.S. deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, and Lieutenant-General Cha Young-koo, South Korean assistant defense minister for policy.

The next meeting was scheduled for the United States in May.


3 posted on 04/08/2003 10:44:34 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: gcruse
Agreed. No more thumb sucking for SK. They've grown up and need to stand up or deal with the consequences of sucking up to "Dear Leader".
4 posted on 04/08/2003 10:47:25 PM PDT by zarf (Republicans for Sharpton 2004)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: HAL9000
yeah! bump
6 posted on 04/08/2003 10:53:59 PM PDT by ellery (what's a france?)
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To: gcruse
"I hope this is the first phase in getting us out of there altogether."
----

I think it is. There were all those anti-US protests, and I think even the current idiot president of S. Korea was telling us to get out, and Rumsfeld said, fine, we'll be happy to, then there was some change, but apparently not enough. If S. Korea doesn't appreciate us being there, we can let N. Korea overrun them, because what do you think is going to happen the minute we leave?
7 posted on 04/08/2003 10:59:38 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: HAL9000
Did anyone catch Dan Blather's interview with a composite of young and old South Koreans? All of the young South Korean yuppies said they fear George Bush more than they do Crazy Eddy in North Korea.

Let them have him.
8 posted on 04/08/2003 11:05:18 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: HAL9000
I would pull all US troops out now. Then inform the UN that this is their fight. They didn't want the US to take care of Iraq. Fine they can take care of this mess they've made. An unchecked Iraq of-sotrs.
9 posted on 04/08/2003 11:08:26 PM PDT by Fredsterman
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To: FairOpinion
I can't imagine North Korea deciding to war against the South if we left. It would serve them right though. Doesn't it seem odd that most of the protesters against war, and America; are in areas where they themselves would be swatted first?
10 posted on 04/08/2003 11:13:49 PM PDT by Fredsterman
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To: FairOpinion; Fredsterman
. If S. Korea doesn't appreciate us being there, we can let N. Korea overrun them, because what do you think is going to happen the minute we leave?

Fredsterman has a point.  This is a UN deal.  Why aren't UN troops there in place of ours?
Besides, if we leave, SK seems to think NK is no longer a threat, so what's to worry?
11 posted on 04/08/2003 11:14:14 PM PDT by gcruse (If they truly are God's laws, he can enforce them himself.)
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To: FairOpinion
If S. Korea doesn't appreciate us being there, we can let N. Korea overrun them, because what do you think is going to happen the minute we leave?

North Korea will invade the South, the U.S. economy will collapse and Hillary Clinton will be elected President.

12 posted on 04/08/2003 11:16:11 PM PDT by HAL9000
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13 posted on 04/08/2003 11:19:35 PM PDT by Mo1 (I'm a monthly Donor .. You can be one too!)
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To: HAL9000
Nonsense!! Hillary will be crowned Queen for Life.
14 posted on 04/08/2003 11:19:59 PM PDT by zarf (Republicans for Sharpton 2004)
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To: HAL9000
"North Korea will invade the South, the U.S. economy will collapse and Hillary Clinton will be elected President."

----

LOL! I think when there were a lot of communist countries and Russia was trying to keep expanding, it was important that we stop them and not let them gain and inch. But now I doubt that S. Korea is all that important to us.

I think the only concern is that China may feel this is a green light for them to invade Taiwan and maybe even Japan, which of course couldn't be allowed.
15 posted on 04/08/2003 11:20:19 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: gcruse
Perhaps those Korean anti-American protesters would be happy to be on the front lines. We have been there long enough.
16 posted on 04/08/2003 11:23:44 PM PDT by dmeara
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To: dmeara
Couldn't agree with you more.
17 posted on 04/08/2003 11:25:24 PM PDT by gcruse (If they truly are God's laws, he can enforce them himself.)
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To: FairOpinion
But now I doubt that S. Korea is all that important to us.

If you'd like a preview of a U.S. withdrawal from South Korea, open your computer, pull out the RAM memory chips and see how well it works then.

18 posted on 04/08/2003 11:26:32 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
Well, a lot of key electronics is made in China, so I am sure a unified communist Korea will be happy to sell them to us too.

Not that I want a unified communist Korea.
19 posted on 04/08/2003 11:28:31 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
Well, a lot of key electronics is made in China, so I am sure a unified communist Korea will be happy to sell them to us too.

After the U.S. is chased out by the vocal minority of anti-U.S. South Koreans, I'm sure President Hillary Clinton would be happy to lift the trade sanctions on the unified communist Korea, and Microsoft and IBM would be able to resume business in a few years. No problem.

20 posted on 04/08/2003 11:35:01 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
"After the U.S. is chased out by the vocal minority of anti-U.S. South Koreans"
---

OK, you are right. That is exactly what they want, to chase us out. I am just getting tired of all the ingrates around the world.
21 posted on 04/08/2003 11:40:26 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: gcruse
Rummy said that we were getting out and I guess he meant it for sure.

LOL

That will teach the them that if they do not want us there, we won't.
22 posted on 04/08/2003 11:44:53 PM PDT by Conservababe (I calls it like I sees it.)
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To: zarf
This is so obvious, I can't be right. If we get out of the way and let NK take the south, after they mix in with all those folks who have been demonstrating against us, how the hell will NK use all that artillery or those nukes on the south without killing their own.

Most important, how would NK be able to retailiate against us after we take out their nuke facilities? Their threats to start a war are gonna be much muted regardless, after they've seen what W has done to Irak.
23 posted on 04/08/2003 11:46:42 PM PDT by mc10
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To: FairOpinion
Tens of thousands of American soldiers were killed during the Korean war. Let's just say that I feel absolutely no sympathy for their anti-Americanism. So they feel inconvenience at having US soldiers in their capital...well boohoohoo. Let's see how they like it to be under the craziest dictator on the face of the earth.
24 posted on 04/08/2003 11:48:53 PM PDT by winner3000
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To: HAL9000
I'll bet they are relocating south to give the SK's responsibility for the DMZ .... they may just change the force composition a bit too.

No more infantry ... armor and nukes.

25 posted on 04/08/2003 11:51:45 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: FairOpinion
Hopefully, the situation in South Korea should improve after we finalize our victory in Iraq, and relocate our base away from Seoul.
26 posted on 04/08/2003 11:54:22 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
This is the first step in dealing with North Korea militarily. The main American base should be well south of the DMZ. If it comes time to take out the NK nuclear facilities with bombs/missiles, we will also take out the artillery emplacements that can shell Seoul.

We have to assume that we will not have, and cannot put in place, sufficient troops to stop the expected massive invasion of NK troops into the south. However, we will have in place the planes to lay a necklace of MOABs across the DMZ. Then, what's left of the NK troops can be dealt with by the South Koreans.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, now up on UPI, and FR, "The Berlin Solution to the Baghdad Problem."

Latest book(let), "to Restore Trust in America."

27 posted on 04/09/2003 12:08:30 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob ("Saddam has left the building. Heck, the building has left the building.")
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To: HAL9000
Tag line says it all.
28 posted on 04/09/2003 1:38:25 AM PDT by canalabamian (All Your Base Are Belong To Us)
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To: HAL9000
Japan would be good.
29 posted on 04/09/2003 4:19:44 AM PDT by Bulldog1967
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To: mc10
This is so obvious, I can't be right. If we get out of the way and let NK take the south, after they mix in with all those folks who have been demonstrating against us, how the hell will NK use all that artillery or those nukes on the south without killing their own.

Most important, how would NK be able to retailiate against us after we take out their nuke facilities? Their threats to start a war are gonna be much muted regardless, after they've seen what W has done to Irak.

I think you are right, for the most part. I have believed that the NK were already part of the people demonstrating against us. But more importantly, this does makes it easier for us to take out not only their nuclear facilities, but also their artillary and troops from the air if they try to do something against SK. With their massed formations, easy pickings.

30 posted on 04/09/2003 4:49:57 AM PDT by GreatOne (You will bow down before me, Son of Jor-el!)
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To: GreatOne
"I have believed that the NK were already part of the people demonstrating against us."

I respectfully disagree with that statement. There has been a lot of kneejerk antiAmericanism here (Seoul) in the last year. Thankfully, IMHO, most of it is superficial. Frankly speaking, after all the crap I've had to listen to in the past year, I hope every last swinging *+!* is pulled out of here.
31 posted on 04/09/2003 5:05:49 AM PDT by bucephalus (30 miles from the DMZ)
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To: mc10
This is so obvious, I can't be right. If we get out of the way and let NK take the south, after they mix in with all those folks who have been demonstrating against us, how the hell will NK use all that artillery or those nukes on the south without killing their own.

You are correct - it can't be right. You are presupposing a basic respect for human life on lil' Kimmie's part. It doesn't exist, and therefore the premise is false.

Also, leaving Kim-bob in charge of the whole peninsula gives effective Chinese control over the whole shootin match. If I were Japanese, I'd be seriously worried about that. Ol' Kim-Il-Dung whats-his-face makes a pretty good Chinese stooge.

32 posted on 04/09/2003 5:33:53 AM PDT by MortMan
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To: HAL9000
Yes, yes, yes!!!
33 posted on 04/09/2003 5:56:21 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: mc10
re: Most important, how would NK be able to retailiate against us after we take out their nuke facilities? )))

NK's chief leverage were those troops sitting across the border, all concentrated in one base. We're not going to be within sitting-duck range shortly. This is why China is scrambling suddenly to rein in NK--NK is not as useful to them with us out of reach.

I love ya, Rummy.

34 posted on 04/09/2003 6:02:55 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: bucephalus
re: Thankfully, IMHO, most of it is superficial. Frankly speaking, after all the crap I've had to listen to in the past year, I hope every last swinging *+!* is pulled out of here. )))

Would be interested in hearing more. I understand these gentle young souls spend every night in video cafes with their online war games...think they're capable of wearing a real uniform?

35 posted on 04/09/2003 6:05:53 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: HAL9000
This would be *such* big news if there wasn't anything going on in Iraq--do the SKoreans even know what's hit them?
36 posted on 04/09/2003 6:15:41 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: bucephalus
I'd rather think that I was right, just because otherwise it shows how much of an idiotic leftist culture they are becoming. Let's see if they have the same resolve without us their guarding their butts.

But, as I said before, I'm glad we're pulling back because it makes it easier for us to do something about NK, when the time comes.

37 posted on 04/09/2003 6:24:52 AM PDT by GreatOne (You will bow down before me, Son of Jor-el!)
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To: FairOpinion
Well, we could always move those 37,000 troops to a nice mountain side base just outside Taichung (very nice town, by the way). The Taiwanese may be more appreciative of the protection.

The Koreans (North and South) are extremely tough people and, given our providing air support from offshore, IMHO the ROK will be well able to take care of themselves.

38 posted on 04/09/2003 6:25:15 AM PDT by katana
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To: Mamzelle
"I understand these gentle young souls spend every night in video cafes with their online war games...think they're capable of wearing a real uniform?"

You are right about video game mania. This is supposed to be the most wired country in the world and I believe it. On a good day I can get pages and pages of graphics on my computer instantaneously (I've heard it's different back home - US). 29 month military service is compulsory for fit young men, so they know how to wear a uniform. They need to update their equipment (I know an honorable country that would help them with that). Alas, once young Min-su finds out he has to do a - say - 42 month military service coupled with higher taxation rates, I suspect the "Yankee Come Back" cries will begin in earnest.

PS: We charge South Korea $400,000,000 per year. This money is utilized to pay the salaries of Korean workers. The Koreans have been lied to and misled by their leaders into thinking that they actually pay for their own defense. Any questions? (Actually, I think I've shot my bolt.)
39 posted on 04/09/2003 6:43:26 AM PDT by bucephalus (Baghdad Bobby We Hardly Knew Ye)
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To: GreatOne
"I'd rather think that I was right, just because otherwise it shows how much of an idiotic leftist culture they are becoming."

I was always a pretty severe anticommie but the Koreans actually out-anticommied me by a good distance, so I can appreciate what you mean. I'm not really worried about them becoming over leftie per se. Korea is probably in a kind of flux right now.

A month ago I unluckily bungled upon an antiwar demonstration in downtown Seoul. What was the placard that I saw the most? It was a picture of the hapless school girls who were killed in a US military accident last year. On the one hand the Korean's are tribal enough to put more stock in those two girls than a city worth of Iraqi kids. The antiwar crap only rides on top of other issues. Sorry for being a windbag.
40 posted on 04/09/2003 6:53:48 AM PDT by bucephalus (You're in Deep Kimchi Baghdad Bob)
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To: HAL9000
Since the ROK now wants to accommodate the Dear Leader so much, I vote for Guam. Make it their problem.
41 posted on 04/09/2003 7:17:35 AM PDT by pttttt
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To: GreatOne
i believe Rumsfeld just may be serious about this...as someone else just pointed out...this would take away a lot of kim's leverage...man, ain't it nice to have a bunch of "adult" patriots in charge
42 posted on 04/09/2003 9:04:00 AM PDT by mc10
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To: MortMan
unfortunately, you make a very important point!
43 posted on 04/09/2003 9:05:32 AM PDT by mc10
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To: Mamzelle
sure nice to have a hard ass as def. sec.
44 posted on 04/09/2003 9:06:47 AM PDT by mc10
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To: Congressman Billybob
However, we will have in place the planes to lay a necklace of MOABs across the DMZ

That's assuming there aren't tunnels going from the north side to downtown Seoul that are
big enough to move masses of troops.  I wouldn't assume that.
45 posted on 04/09/2003 10:20:41 AM PDT by gcruse (If they truly are God's laws, he can enforce them himself.)
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To: bucephalus
. Sorry for being a windbag.

Not windbag at all.  You write well and are on the scene.
Hope to hear a lot from you as Korea gets the next news cycle.
46 posted on 04/09/2003 10:26:28 AM PDT by gcruse (If they truly are God's laws, he can enforce them himself.)
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To: bucephalus
As you're a direct source, I hope you continue to contribute. So we charge $400M/yr, which the Korean nat'ls then rec' in salaries? Of course, I don't have any idea what it costs to maintain our defenses there for a year...

I've been reading the Korea Herald and Times...what are these papers like for accuracy?

47 posted on 04/09/2003 1:47:10 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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