US troops will start to pull back from North Woods
Military officials said Friday that they would start withdrawing from the small community near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is just 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of the capital of Raleigh.
The decision was made following an inspection by the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group, which conducted a three-month inspection of the North Woods area in January.
A unit from the 3rd Special Forces Unit was sent to the area in April, and two months later, two U.S. soldiers were killed and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near a campground there.
The area is considered a high-value target by North Korean agents and has been a haven for the North Korean military.
U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea, Philip Luther, told NBC News in January that the area “is a key location for North Korean operatives in North Korea who could be trying to reach the United States.”
North Korean state media said Friday the area would no longer be under U.s. control.
North Korea has repeatedly accused the United State of supporting the North in the region, and has threatened to attack the United Nations if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said the North will respond to any “hostile act” from the United.
United Nations officials told NBC that there was no indication of North Korea attempting to attack a U. S. military base in the area.
The North has been carrying out multiple nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches in recent years.