This file photo taken on April 26, 2017 shows South Korean and US soldiers watching from an observation post during a joint live firing drill between South Korea and the US at the Seungjin Fire Training Field in Pocheon, 65 km northeast of Seoul

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: The United States is formally ending seven decades of military presence in South Korea's capital with the opening of a new headquarters farther away from the border with North Korea.

The U.S. military is holding an opening ceremony Friday for its new headquarters at an expanded facility south of Seoul.

American troops were headquartered in Seoul after they first came to the country in 1945 to disarm Japan after World War II.

The U.S. military presence in Seoul is a symbol of the U.S.-South Korea alliance aimed at deterring North Korean aggression. It has also been a source of anti-American sentiment among many South Koreans.

The relocation was scheduled to take place in 2008 but postponed several times.