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US: Command Transfer Is ‘Reasonable’

Posted March. 25, 2006 03:10,   


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on March 23 that South Korea and the United States have agreed on the transfer of wartime command of South Korean forces to South Korea, and that the two nations are discussing a timetable.

Rumsfeld confirmed this in a Pentagon news briefing yesterday and commented on the timing of the turnover, saying, “The timing depends on how quickly the Korean government develops its capabilities to assume [wartime command] responsibility. A greater South Korean role would allow further U.S. troop reductions.”

Rumsfeld also said, “South Korea brought up the issue of transferring wartime command and talks are underway. Everyone agrees that 55 years after the Korean War, it is reasonable that South Korean forces increasingly take on more responsibility.``

Earlier on March 7, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) chief Adm. William J. Fallon told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a timetable for the transfer of wartime command will be given at the Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting in October.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com