The United States has begun its programme to withdraw 20,000 troops from South Korea. The?
The United States has begun its programme to withdraw 20,000 troops from South Korea. The troops, representing nearly one-third of American forces there, are being pulled out as part of the Nixon plan for Asian allies to take a greater responsibility for their security.
The Americans bases at Fort Beaver and Camp Kaiser, both near Seoul, were deactivated this week and handed over to the South Korean Army. The Americans took most of their equipment, but left behind some of their tanks for the South Koreans to use. Several American advisors are remaining at both bases to instruct the South Koreans in the use of the transferred equipment.
At towns near the bases, the closure has meant the inevitable hardship. Shops and businesses catering mainly for American servicemen have been forced to close down because of lack of business.
While the American troop strength is being reduced, President Nixon has offered the South Koreans compensation in the form of more air power. A squadron of USAF Phantoms based in Japan will be transferred to South Korea.