US commander says he supports plan to reduce outposts in Korea's demilitarized zone

  • The top commander of U.S. troops in South Korea says he recognized the risks but supports the withdrawal of some outposts along the fortified border with North Korea.
  • South Korea's defence ministry has plans to reduce guard posts and equipment along the demilitarized zone on its border with North Korea.
The North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea.
Ed Jones | AFP | Getty Images
The North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea.

The top commander of U.S. troops in South Korea said on Wednesday he supports moves to withdraw some outposts along the fortified border with North Korea, despite the risks.

South Korea's defence ministry has said it plans to reduce guard posts and equipment along the demilitarized zone on its border with North Korea as part of efforts to reduce tension and build trust with its northern neighbor.

"I have some concerns about what that means militarily for the ability to defend along the Military Demarcation Line," U.S. General Vincent Brooks told reporters on Wednesday.

But he said that the risk is "a reasonable degree" and the move represents a good opportunity to reduce tensions.

Brooks also said that his troops are finding "other ways" to maintain readiness in the absence of major military drills,

which were cancelled or delayed by U.S. President Donald Trump as part of a deal with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.