June 15, 2012 09:21
The U.S. Forces Korea has proposed keeping an artillery brigade just north of Seoul to respond swiftly to North Korean batteries lined up along the border, despite an original plan to pull forces back south of the capital.
"The USFK has offered to keep the 210th Fires Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division at its present base" in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province rather than move it south to a new base in Pyeongtaek with the rest of the USFK, a government source said Thursday. It was to move by 2016.
The source said the USFK now feels it would be difficult to respond swiftly to a North Korean artillery attack on Seoul from the border if the brigade is moved.
Equipped with 30 multiple launch rocket systems, the brigade is tasked with attacking North Korea’s long-range artillery and mechanized units in case of an emergency. If it stays in Dongducheon, only the combat and aviation brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division will move south to Pyeongtaek.
The USFK is apparently minded to reverse a number of decisions that have troubled conservatives here. Earlier, USFK Commander Gen. James Thurman proposed Seoul and Washington keep the Combined Forces Command even after the handover of full operational control of South Korean troops in December 2015.
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