The South Korean military has decided to dismantle 13 anti-tank defenses in Gangwon and northern Gyeonggi provinces. Anti-tank defenses are concrete structures on the roads that are meant to prevent North Korean armies from moving south in case of a war.
According to a report that looked into how many anti-tank defenses have been dismantled in the past six years from 2013 to 2018, 13 anti-tank defenses are scheduled to be dismantled this year alone. Six anti-tank defenses (one has already been dismantled) will be dismantled in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, three in Paju, two in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, one in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province and one in Yanggu, Gangwon Province. The report was submitted on Tuesday by the Joint Chief of Staff to Rep. Lee Jong-myung, a member of the National Assembly Defense Committee.
A total of nine anti-tank defenses were dismantled from 2013 to 2017, which means 1.8 on annual average. Anti-tank defenses are dismantled through consultation between military units and the local governments concerned.
“A greater number of anti-tank defenses are being dismantled this year,” said Lee. “In terms of annual average, the number has surged seven times more than the ones dismantled for the last five years.”
Lee pointed out that dismantling anti-tank defenses should be done under the “Guidelines on the management of obstructions and denial targets by the JCS.” According to the guideline, obstructions that are stronger than the existing ones should be installed if alternative facilities are deemed necessary after careful consideration. But commanding officers at military bases are deciding whether to dismantle them or not without any concrete guidelines. Among the 12 anti-tank defenses that were dismantled from 2013 to August this year, only six of them were replaced by alternative facilities (FASCAN, road triggers).
Sang-Ho Yun firstname.lastname@example.org