Support: April 18, 2004


In South Korea, the United States is consolidating over a hundred bases, used by American troops, into two large complexes. Not only will it be easier, and cheaper, to support the 38,000 American troops in just two bases, but  these facilities will be located far enough from the border (the DMZ, or  demilitarized zone) to be out of the range of the thousands of North Korean  artillery pieces and rocket launchers. The move will cost about a quarter of a  billion dollars and will take several years. Some 90 percent of the 38,000  American troops in South Korea will end up living in those two complexes. The  complexes will still be vulnerable to North Korean long range missile attacks. By  not being directly in the path of a North Korean invasion, the better trained and  equipped American 2nd Infantry division can act as a hard hitting mobile reserve  for South Korean forces that have always made up the bulk of the troops defending  the DMZ.  The South Korean government is still acquiring the land for the new complexes, but some  American forces are already being moved back from the DMZ. 

The move is timely for other reasons, as many of the buildings in existing bases are many decades old and in need of replacement or repair. There's also the possibility that the North Korean communist government could collapse in  the near future, making it possible for the troops to finally go home after sixty  years of duty in South Korea. 




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