ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 21st, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Why the US Military Is Still Deployed In South Korea

» by in: North Korea

Pat Buchanan’s article in the Miami Herald reads very much like someone who only has a superficial knowledge of Korean affairs who is passing themselves off as an expert.  Read the article and judge for yourself:

And while America cannot abdicate her responsibility and role in this crisis, we should be asking ourselves: Why is this our crisis in 2013?

President Eisenhower ended the Korean War 60 years ago. The Chinese armies in Korea went home. Twenty years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia abandoned communism and ceased to arm the North, and Mao’s China gave up world revolution for state capitalism.

Epochal events. Yet U.S. troops still sit on the DMZ, just as their grandfathers did when this writer was still in high school.

Why? North Korea represents no threat to us, and South Korea is not the ruined ravaged land of 1953. It has twice the population of the North, an economy 40 times the size of the North’s, and access to the most modern weapons in America’s arsenal.

Why were U.S. troops not withdrawn from Korea at the end of the Cold War? Why should we have to fight Seoul’s war if Pyongyang attacks, when the South is capable of fighting and winning its own war?

Why is South Korea’s defense still America’s obligation?  [Miami Herald]

Buchanan’s article is just more of this increasing isolationist notion that if we just leave the bad guys alone, they will leave us alone.  If only the world was that simple.  Here is a response from Korean journalist Kim Jae-hoon in the Korea Economic Reader that debunks Buchanan’s isolationist viewpoint:

Instead of questioning why is the US still on DMZ, I might ask: Why is North Korea so bent on developing nuclear weapons?

The conventional wisdom is that Pyongyang wants to sign a peace treaty with the US, replacing the armistice agreement. It can have this tready today, without the aid of nuclear weapons, if it was really that it wanted. The truth is it aborted talks with the US many years ago by putting a variety of conditions on its way.

The real objective is to use this ”peace teeaty” to press the withdrawal of US troops. What the North wants is to repeat the example of North Vietnam after signing the peace treaty with the US in 1973 that led to removal of US troops. After a round of false moves involving clashes with the South Vietnamese army, the North launched a blitz attack on all over the South, conquering the entire territory in a very short time.

This is why the North maintains a huge military force of 1.1 million men and women today despite the staggering cost, including a large number of Special Forces trained in urban guerrilla warfare.

Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, was so gripped with this fantasy that he went to Beijing seeking to persuade it to back him (unsuccessfully) in this attempt shortly after the collapse of Saigon regime.

Admittedly, South Korea today is by no means comparable to South Vietnam of 1975, but as you (sic: Tom Coyner) said, it would require many times the cost of maintaining the 28,000 US troops here in the event of another war.

No, we should not give the North that opportunity. We should wait it out to crumble, just as the Soviet Union crumbled. Park Geun Hye was right when she said, “the Soviet Union collapsed not because it lacked nuclear weapons.”

This is a great analysis, but I would also add that I do not think that the North Koreans are going to invade immediately once the US pulls out. They will continue to back their Chinboistas in South Korea to agitate and cause widespread political and labor strife in an effort to weaken the South Korean economy. A weakened economy means a weakened ROK military as well as wide spread public dissatisfaction. These conditions may allow an extreme leftist to get elected to the Presidency. I am talking someone who is a committed Chinboista leftist and not an incompetent like former President Roh Moo-Hyun.

At the same time expect North Korea to turn on its charm offensive. It will make itself out to be less threatening in an effort to justify cuts to the ROK military and create increased dissatisfaction with the ROK’s mandatory service obligation. The charm offensive will also help the North get their Chinboista surrogate elected. This is all part of the reason the North Korean regime inner circle decided to have Kim Jong-un as their public face. He is the perfect guy to lead the charm offensive when the time comes because of his appearance, demeanor, and lack of vitriol against him in the ROK compared to his dad Kim Jong-un. Once the conditions are right expect some kind of push for a political confederation between the two countries in an effort to end tne US-ROK alliance, further reduce defenses along the DMZ, and to politically justify the invasion of the South when the time comes.

It is important to realize that all these parallel lines of efforts by the North Koreans is not a near term strategy. Unlike the US where our government often thinks in 4 year election cycles, the North Korean regime elite has the luxury of strategizing over decades. This also helps explains why the Chinese never take harsh action after North Korean provocations because they understand the strategy. It is greatly in their interest to see the US military leave South Korea and the eventual reunification of the Korean Peninsula under a North Korean authoritarian government.

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  • Larry Anderson
    6:12 pm on February 21st, 2013 1

    I have no idea where Pat Buchanan’s article came from, has he been under a rock all his life? It wasn’t President Eisenhower who ended any war, it was still going when I was there 1968/69, it was still going on when I served there in 1977/78 and all times between and after. As I was there, we had great interaction and respect from and of our Korean allies. The world is no safer from the so called collapse of the Soviet Union, in fact more dangerous, the Rise of power by China and the weakening of our respect and power around the world, The ignorant and naive approach in allowing China to gain and assist them in global power and financial expansion has created a monster which we cannot long control. The fact is, China has war plans around the world, including Korea, Japan, Philippines, even to Australia, etc. They declared war intentions with all these nations including the US. The Chinese have spread tenacles around the world, South America in Uraquay, Paraquay, Brazil and Venzuala as well as having now complete control and presence of the Panama. It is a major report of China that has no room here to expound but we have to be total morons not to see, believe and prepare for China’s world domination plans. Who did we fight in Korea, not the N. Koreans, and Vietnam, who is supplying, supporting, training, aiding with special agents around the world, the NPA in Philippines, the Muslims around the world, in the Pacific, etc. We invite Chinese now to take over all investments, businesses, banking, loans, factories, resources to the point that the US has no power, no factories etc. and as war comes, as it will, where is the world to get it’s support, supplies, equipment, food, clothing, etc. China! Nukes are positioned around the world all aimed at the US and allies, Chinese scientist putting in nuke power in venzuala, Chinese helped No. Korea, anyone not understanding the real role of China with No. Korea is beyond ignornat. China is preparing and the ignorance and failure of others to see, understand and prepare play perfectly to their final solution.

  • Bob
    6:33 pm on February 21st, 2013 2

    Um, we aren’t in S. Korea because of N. Korea we here because of China…The ROKs could crash the north if they so felt the need too. The north invading the south? That’s a joke 3/4 of their army isn’t even armed due to fear of rebellion!

    Sure what they have 1.1 million strong Army the ROK have like 500,000 well fed, trained and motivated soldiers with bunkers put in place.

  • tbonetylr
    8:02 pm on February 21st, 2013 3

    Bob: “the ROK have like 500,000 well fed, trained and motivated soldiers with bunkers put in place.”


    If the U.S. is in S. Korea because of China then it should stop its lies and tell the American people that Koreans are just pawns but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the U.S. needs to stop babysitting S. Korea and any ignoramus can tell you the U.S. can’t afford to stay on the peninsula or in countless other countries.

    Go NUKE S. Korea :grin:

    I like how Professor Andrei Lankov calls it an “internecine(like a fued between the Hatfields vs. McCoys’s) conflict”…

    …”Nobody knows this better than the North Korean government, which appears to take great strategic pleasure in engendering internecine “south-south conflict” (남남갈등) whenever it gets the chance.”

    America is not the world’s babysitters. :roll:

  • Dr.Yu
    9:09 pm on February 21st, 2013 4

    Why the USA keep American soldiers in Korea? Isn`t obvious? It`s because of their desperate love for Koreans. Their genuine and altruistic love for the people from the peninsula of the morning calm …
    In fact americans love so much koreans that american parents send their sons gladly to korea to sacrifice their lives for korean lives … Yes, they send them to die for someone who they don`t know, never meat before and don`t even know the names ….. There are no personal or american national interest here, just pure, simple and unconditional love …..
    I`m I right?

  • Baek In-je
    9:19 pm on February 21st, 2013 5

    First of all, I want to wish you all a Happy Takeshima Day! It’s being celebrated in Japan today. Really.

    The reason the US military is still deployed in South Korea is so that the North Koreans do not attack. The North knows that without the US military here, they could reunify the country, probably in a few weeks. In 1950, the farmer soldiers couldn’t hold Seoul for more than two days, the capital falling into enemy hands on the third day of the war. The farmer student soldiers will fare maybe a little better due to US weaponry. But like the South Korean government knows, many South Korean soldiers will simply throw down their guns and run away in the face of battle. They want their dwenjang-nyos, starcraft, ramyon, cheap soju, and cheap cigarettes.
    Until South Korean sheep cloners can clone a couragous South Korean man, they will never be able to defend themselves with outside help. For reference, see every war in their history.

  • Bob
    10:16 pm on February 21st, 2013 6

    N. Korea technology is decades upon decades BEHIND S. Korea technology.

    Which basically means N. Korea needs a 3 to 1 advantage by numbers to be competitive.

    Per N. Korea Nuclear arsenal. They don’t yet have the ability to launch the nuke, flying a bomber over S. Korea isn’t an option I think the best solution for them to deploy their nuclear arsenal would be via bombing ports with subs. Load the bomb on a sub, have the sub go into the port surface blow up. Although this would be destroy the port, and cause wide spread economic dmg I don’t feel this is an effective use. Also their nukes if they could put them on a missile aren’t precise enough for military targets. I’m sure however it could destroy Seoul but would the North really risk that political damage? Kill 2 million in Seoul and see how quick China will back the South.

    The south does not need America to defend itself.

  • jim
    10:25 pm on February 21st, 2013 7

    korea’s subsidy of american forces couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it.

  • Flunky Brewster
    10:32 pm on February 21st, 2013 8

    Our troops and planes are in Korea to protect the economies of South Korea and Japan. Once upon a time we were here to protect only the people but now we’re also here to protect the investments made in both nations, but especially those made in Japan.

  • Flunky Brewster
    10:36 pm on February 21st, 2013 9

    Did you see how many people, and how much wealth, fled Hong Kong before it was handed over to the Chinese? Picture that in Korea if the US troops and planes pull out.

  • Conway Eastwood
    11:18 pm on February 21st, 2013 10

    Pat Buchanan? Homie hasn’t been relevant since the 1990s, dawg.

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:53 pm on February 21st, 2013 11

    The article is troll bait.

  • Smokes
    12:34 am on February 22nd, 2013 12

    Everything is troll bait. It’s the jail bait you need to watch out for.

  • Onezime
    12:44 am on February 22nd, 2013 13

    “President Eisenhower ended the Korean War 60 years ago.”

    As someone who counts Canadian and British veterans of the Korean War amongst his friends and acquaintances, I would like to share a heartfelt “Fack off!” to the person who wrote that.

  • Kingkitty
    1:33 am on February 22nd, 2013 14

    No reason other than keeping the Chinese and North Koreans from attacking Japan

  • TheKorean
    5:24 am on February 23rd, 2013 15

    Baek In-je, yea good one, nice joke. :lol: The fact that US has more bases in Guam, Okinawa, and Japan combined than South Korea is more than enough to deter any North Korean or Chinese “invasion”. South Korea does not need US troops when our military can blow away any North Korean/Chinese infantry. On the other hand, there’s a nuclear issue, which is a different topic. :mrgreen:

    In the end, the US troops has no purpose in South Korea no more.

  • someotherguy
    9:02 pm on February 24th, 2013 16

    Many people are horribly misinformed. In a straight force on force fight between the ROK and the DPRK the ROK would win hands down. Their better armed and most importantly their better trained.

    Thing is, it won’t be a ROK vs DPRK fight. The DPRK would call on Chinese support and it would be the DPRK + PRC vs the ROK and the ROK wouldn’t stand a chance, even if they could get Japanese forces to assist.

    That is why the USA is here, to ensure China doesn’t get itself involved in creating another USSR situation. As long as there is US forces in SK the PRC will not engage in force on force combat. If the Chinese won’t get involved then the DPRK doesn’t have the option to get involved and must content itself with bullying and posturing.

    There should be no doubt, the USA is here to limit China. We don’t talk about it because of how sensitive they are on the issue and how much business the world conducts with them. Look no further then the years of hacking the Chinese Military has been doing, everyone knew it was them just nobody wanted to say it in public.

  • Dinah
    12:12 pm on April 10th, 2013 17

    I don’t even understand how I stopped up here, but I assumed this put up used to be great.

  • korean
    9:08 pm on August 2nd, 2013 18

    There is a hug economic gap between N and S. the GDP income difference is huge. The average N korean earns 783 dollars a year but contrary to that, S korean earns about 23113 dollars. so basically, n earns 3 percent of the S. the N korean army has much less soldiers than th S. we are decades ahead of the N army weapons and have better gear. The main reason the US has army in korea is because of the N invading S. but there is no chance of that.They have less soldiers, decades behind in gear, so how are they gonna win? also, there is nuke. its simple. in north the main goal is to unite the penninsula, but if they launch nuke the whole penninsula will be pollutted with radio activity and won’t be fit to live. do the n want that?? destroying the penninsula and their homes with it? the answer is no. So there are no need for US army to stay in S korea.


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