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US: Korea Should Pay More U.S. Force Costs

Posted March. 09, 2006 03:00,   


On March 7 (local time), United States Armed Forces Commander in Korea Burwell B. Bell said, “Whether Korea is willing to share defense costs is a sign showing that it needs the continuous stationing of U.S. forces and that it respects U.S. troops,” and strongly suggested that the U.S. will request the Korean government to bear additional costs for the stationing of U.S. troops there in the future.

At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Bell stressed the above and stated, “Korea and the U.S. should create a cost-sharing framework that accurately reflects the conditions between the two countries’ alliance partnership and properly supports the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK).”

In addition, Bell announced that the U.S. is planning to reorganize the United Nations Command (UNC) in Korea into a multinational Coalition around the time Korea takes back wartime operational command. Bell noted, “The U.S. government is working to transform the UNC into a multinational coalition by increasing the UNC staff of the countries participating in it, establishing an operational strategy, and attending the training.

Bell further stated, “Korea’s demand for wartime operational command means that U.S. troops should play a new supporting role and in that case, the U.S.’s supporting role would revolve around naval and air forces.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com