Korea Wants 2-Year Delay in Troop Control Handover

The government has asked Washington to delay by up to two more years the transfer of full operational control of Korean troops to Seoul.

Korea is in talks with the U.S. over pushing back the date for the handover of wartime operational control from December of 2015. The transfer was originally scheduled for April 17, 2012 under an agreement with the U.S. by the Roh Moo-hyun administration. It was then postponed until Dec. 1, 2015 by the Lee Myung-bak government.

But a government source said, "The right time to regain wartime operational control is when the military has achieved the strategic capability to do so. If the military is not ready, we have proposed that the transfer date be pushed back another two years."

The two governments plan to hold their next round of talks on the transfer later this month in Washington.

The handover would mean the automatic end to the Combined Forces Command, which is headed by the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, and Seoul worries that the absence of a unified command structure would cripple operations.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 07, 2014 11:19 KST