I can’t decide how much more likely war with North Korea would be if South Korea’s largest city and capital were much farther down the peninsula. Whenever tensions rise I hear how vulnerable Seoul is and wonder if it makes the south tolerate the north’s aggressive tantrums more.
I think a better question would be "Did the proximity of Seoul to the DMZ stabilize or destabilize Korea after the Korean War?"
- I'm sure that the US and ROK have constantly updated contingency plans to invade the DPRK. They do not want to use them, because the cost/benefit ratio is bad, but they will have them just in case. What stops them from going in? DPRK artillery in range of Seoul is surely one factor, but so is the presence of China. If Seoul was safe from tube artillery, that wouldn't make restarting the Korean War safe.
- I'm sure that the DPRK has contingency plans to invade the ROK. They might or might not want to use them, but again they have them just in case. What stops them from going in? The fear of a combined US/ROK counterstrike, which would probably end with the destruction of the DPRK.
Watching from Europe, sometimes I wonder about both sides. Trying to build the higher flagpole? Loudspeakers with music? The ROK has good reasons to be scared of the DPRK, but if they were less scared, we might have had another war by now.