The Rising East: U.S. Seeks to Trim Armed Forces Posted in South Korea

Despite assurances from senior American and South Korean military leaders that all is well, an undercurrent of unresolved disputes threatens to sour the alliance between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

The state of affairs has evidently become so touchy that the Pacific Command and U.S. Army Pacific, both of which have headquarters in Honolulu, and U.S. Forces Korea, based in Seoul, have declined to discuss it, even if not for attribution. Korean diplomats, however, have willingly talked about their government’s stance.

The key issue is the reduction or withdrawal of American armed forces from the peninsula where they have been stationed since the end of World War II 67 years ago. The U.S., particularly the Army, has for at least ten years sought to reduce deployments to Korea, for two reasons:

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