October 30, 2017 11:25
Seoul and Washington have agreed in principle on the speedy transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean troops to Seoul, but U.S. officials are reportedly reluctant to expedite the process.
Washington still worries about ceding control amid mounting threats from North Korea, according to U.S. media.
The Wall Street Journal last Thursday said, "The issue creates a potential fault line between the two allies." It quoted a U.S. official as saying "nobody" would like to hand over the wartime command in such a tense situation, and the Pentagon wants to avoid discussion about the issue while there are many other urgent matters.
A diplomatic source said the atmosphere around the early transfer of wartime command is negative.
Daniel Pinkston at the International Crisis Group said the current, U.S.-led command structure would be better at preventing minor skirmishes from developing into a large-scale conflict.
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