October 13, 2017 12:01
Defense Minister Song Young-moo told the National Assembly on Thursday that the government will pursue the speedy transfer of wartime operational control of the military from the U.S. to Seoul.
The Defense Ministry said Korea and the U.S. will soon formalize a plan to create a new combined command, which will become effective when Seoul regains full charge of its own troops.
"We are going to take back wartime operational control in a prompt manner in accordance with the timeline and condition," Song told lawmakers. "It is a prime opportunity to dramatically improve our military."
President Moon Jae-in has pledged to complete the transfer during his five-year term that began earlier this year.
Chang Kyung-soo at the ministry said, "The new command will employ a unified structure led by a Korean commander and a U.S. deputy commander."
"We will establish an operation procedure and command guidance next year," he added.
In 2014, Korea and the U.S. agreed to postpone the transfer until Seoul secures the necessary operational capabilities, although a date was not set. The commander of the U.S. Forces Korea has recently asked for a halt to all talks about the new command.
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