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The Secretary Rumsfeld, Rebalancing the Korea-US Relationship by Request

The Secretary Rumsfeld, Rebalancing the Korea-US Relationship by Request

Posted February. 20, 2003 23:12,   


The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “America will accept the request of the Korean President-Elect Noh, Moo-Hyun to `discuss the rebalance of the Korea-US relationship,` and participate on the discussion.”

The Secretary Rumsfeld said during the Department of Defense briefing that day, “The officials of the Government accepting team of the President-Elect Noh asked to `seriously discuss how to arrange and rebalance the Korea-US relationship,` and we gladly accepted it.”

He then said, “It is not the best way to keep large scale troops in a big city like Seoul,” and “It is like keeping large scale troops in Washington, Chicago, or New York,” so he hinted that he is enthusiastic to move the US Army base in Yongsan.

The Commander of the US Army in Korea Leon Laport also mentioned on the 20th that he would reconsider the commanding structure of the Korea-US Joint Command and relocation, and the Korea-US Mutual Defense Agreement.

The Commander Laport said through his keynote speech at the `Challenge in the Korean Peninsular and the Korea US Companionship` seminar co-hosted by the KIDA, US Heritage Foundation, and the Korea US Interchange Association at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, “This year, when a new Government is starting in Korea, is a good chance for the Korea US alliance to change.”

He said, “We can develop the Korea US alliance by thoroughly study the mission, commanding relationship, and fighting power structure.”

The speaking of the Commander Laport is analyzed that he hinted to put the transfer of the operation right during a war to Korea as an object of study.

He, who discussed about the way to relocate the US Army in Korea for several months, said, “For the Korea US Mutual Defense Agreement, which was concluded in 1953, the core of it is joint effort for allied defense, observance of the peace effort of the UN, repression of provocation, and location of the US Army in Korea and her neighbors,” and “both Korea and US should study and examine the Mutual Defense Agreement,” so he proposed the need for revising the Agreement.

He also said, “In the future, the both countries will develop the new operation concept based on the changed world security strategy, and we will actively use the improved abilities of both Armies, advanced military techniques, and operation precept from other fighting areas.” He, then added, “Although the interests of Korea and US cannot be one, but they can be harmonized,” and “since the Secretaries of Defense of both counties formed a council to study the future of the Korea US alliance at the Security Consultative Meeting(SCM) in the end of last year, I hope it can develop as a fair alliance.”

maypole@donga.com ysh1005@donga.com