S. Korean, US defense chiefs to discuss OPCON transfer, China

Asia's Tech News Daily

S. Korean, US defense chiefs to discuss OPCON transfer, China
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meets with South Korea’s Defense Minister Suh Wook in Seoul on Mar. 17, 2021. (File Photo – US Department of Defense, Lisa Ferdinando)South Korean and US defense ministers will discuss a wide range of security and alliance issues, from the transfer of wartime operational control to challenges posed by China and North Korea.

South Korea’s Defense Minister Suh Wook and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are set to host the 53rd ROK-US Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Seoul on Thursday.

The US high-ranking officers, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John Aquilino, and Commander of United States Forces Korea Gen. Paul LaCamera, will attend the meeting.

The ROK-US annual defense ministerial talks will be notably held for the first time since the Biden administration took office.

Seoul and Washington will discuss ways to enhance coordination on policy toward North Korea, as well as strengthen their alliance comprehensively and reciprocally in wide-ranging fields such as space and cyberspace, an official at South Korea’s Defense Ministry, who wished to remain anonymous, said Thursday.

During the talks, the South Korean military will also seek to speed up the conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control, or OPCON, and expand its efforts to secure critical military capabilities to lead allied forces.

Wartime OPCON transfer, FOC Test Timing
The meeting will be the last chance for the Moon Jae-in government to take further steps toward its public commitment to expeditiously regain wartime OPCON before his term ends in May, although a complete transition will be impossible to achieve by then.

The key issue is whether Seoul and Washington will advance discussions on the timing of the wartime OPCON transfer. The South Korean official expressed expectations for progress and underscored that prior consultations have proceeded in a “very amicable” manner, unlike last year’s SCM held during the Trump administration.

The official said the joint statement of the 53rd SCM would not carry a negative tone on the issue. But when asked whether the statement will specify the timing of the postponed test of Seoul’s full operational capability, the official said the two countries were still in discussions on the ”sensitive issue.“

The South Korean military must demonstrate it has the core military capabilities required to lead the combined defense posture in the Korean theater in order to retake wartime OPCON, in accordance with the Conditions-based OPCON Transition Plan.

Seoul’s military capabilities have to be verified through a three-stage assessment, which consists of the initial operational capability, full operational capability, and full mission capability in that order. The South Korean and US allies completed the first-stage in 2019, but the two countries have only conducted a rehearsal of the second stage, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Strengthening Alliance
Overall, South Korea’s Defense Ministry anticipates that the SCM joint statement will contain enhanced US commitment to the defense of South Korea, including the provision of bridging capabilities, compared to last year’s statement.

Seoul expects that Washington is likely to restore the removed clause that reaffirms its commitment to maintain the current level of the US military personnel in South Korea in this year’s joint statement.

South Korea and the US will also seek ways to broaden military cooperation into wider fields including space and cyberspace.

The two countries will specifically discuss when and how to reactivate the now-dormant Cyber Cooperation Working Group and enhance cyber cooperation, the defense official said, adding that Washington has a high interest in the issue.

Seoul also views that China-related issues will be on the agenda at this year’s meeting. In particular, the two countries will come up with ways to promote military cooperation between the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and South Korea’s New Southern Policy and align their regional strategies.

But the official clarified that Seoul and Washington will not discuss the launch of the bilateral defense working group on the matter, denying local media reports.

The Defense Ministry also said that minister Suh will explain Seoul’s position on an end-of-war declaration to the US defense secretary, but the issue is not a formal part of the agenda.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s JCS chairman Won In-choul and his US counterpart Gen. Milley will hold the 46th Military Committee Meeting on Dec. 1 in Seoul, prior to the annual defense ministerial meeting.

By Ji Da-gyum (dagyumji@heraldcorp.com)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Yoon-related stocks spike after passing 'Kim phone call risk'

The main opposition People Power Party’s presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is seen with his wife Kim Keon-hee on MBC’s program airing contents of phone calls between Kim and a YouTuber, ... Read more »

Consumers dissatisfied with low 5G quality

Seen is a store in downtown Seoul that sells telecommunication services for SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus smartphones. Yonhap By Baek Byung-yeul Korea’s major telecommunications companies ― SK Telecom, ... Read more »

LG Household sinking into deeper trouble

LG Household & Health Care headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of LG H&H Cosmetics maker suspected of violating disclosure rules LG H&H Vice Chairman and CEO Cha Suk-yong / Korea ... Read more »

Seoul condemns Tokyo's sovereignty claim to Dokdo

The photo shows an aerial view of the Dokdo islets. (Foreign Ministry)South Korea on Monday denounced Japan’s repeated sovereignty claim to the easternmost islets of Dokdo and urged the neighbor ... Read more »

LG Chem, POSCO, Kakao face mounting criticism amid stock fall

Regulator plans to step up monitoring on firms’ split-off practices By Lee Min-hyung Retail investors are crying foul over Korean conglomerates’ practice of carving out their key businesses, as this ... Read more »

YouTube Music emerges as leading streaming platform in Korea

Logo of YouTube Music / Courtesy of YouTube Music By Dong Sun-hwa Until a few years ago, Korean music streaming service Melon seemed to have no rivals in terms of ... Read more »

HDC chief steps down over collapse of Gwangju apartment building

HDC Hyundai Development Chairman Chung Mong-gyu bows in apology and to take responsibility for a fatal accident that occurred at its construction site in Gwangju during a press conference held ... Read more »

Movies based on books spark renewed interest in novels

Haruki Murakami’s 2014 short story collection “Men Without Women,” left, and Joh Sasaki’s 2017 novel “The Policeman’s Lineage” / Courtesy of Munhakdonge Publishing, Viche Book By Kwak Yeon-soo The recent ... Read more »

Vaccine pass at large retailers lifted

People scan smartphone QR codes to enter a retail store in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Yonhap By Lee Hyo-jin The government has made a U-turn over the enforcement of COVID-19 ... Read more »

Gov't sticks to youth vaccine pass despite court's restraining orders

gettyimagesbank The planned expansion of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine pass system to include 12- to 18-year-olds will be implemented in March as scheduled, a government agency said Monday, despite a ... Read more »

Complaints grow among eatery owners after gov't decides to keep COVID-19 vaccine pass system

Signs for a precaution against the coronavirus are placed at a train station in Seoul, Jan. 17. AP-Yonhap Complaints have been mounting among owners of cafes and restaurants after the ... Read more »

NK train enters China for the first time since pandemic

Flags of North Korea and China (123rf)A North Korean cargo train crossed into China on Monday, following another train’s trip back to the North in the first such crossing since ... Read more »

Naver Financial promotes CFO to CEO

Park Sang-jin By Lee Kyung-min Naver Financial has named Naver CFO Park Sang-jin as its new CEO, replacing its scandal-ridden incumbent Choi In-hyuk, Monday. The financial subsidiary of the country’s ... Read more »

Lee, Yoon offer diverging views on dealing with N. Korea

In this file photo, Lee Jae-myung (R), the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, is seated next to Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the People Power Party, at an event ... Read more »

Cryptocurrency exchange operators face audit amid money laundering concerns

Cryptocurrency exchange operator Bithumb’s logo is seen in this photo / Yonhap Financial authority to also examine digital finance businesses By Kim Bo-eun The country’s major cryptocurrency exchange operators will ... Read more »

Yoon leads poll again after seemingly successful campaign efforts

Yoon Suk-yeol, presidential nominee of the main opposition People Power Party, leads a campaign event held in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Sunday. (Joint Press Corps)The tide of the presidential race ... Read more »

UAE imports M-SAM2 on Moon's visit

President Moon Jae-in talks with UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Dubai Expo Leadership Hall on Sunday. (Yonhap).  President Moon Jae-in, who is visiting the United ... Read more »

Jailed ex-President Lee Myung-bak admitted to hospital for chronic illness

Former President Lee Myung-bak (Yonhap)Jailed former President Lee Myung-bak was admitted to a hospital on Monday for an unspecified chronic illness, the justice ministry said. The 81-year-old was transferred to ... Read more »

NSC expresses strong regret over N. Korea's latest projectile launch

A view of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul (Yonhap)The presidential National Security Council (NSC) expressed strong regret Monday after North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles eastward that marked ... Read more »

Moon names new senior secretary for civil affairs

This photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae shows new senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Kim Young-sik. (Cheong Wa Dae)President Moon Jae-in on Monday named a new senior secretary for ... Read more »

HDC Hyundai Development chairman to resign over Gwangju apartment building collapse

Chung Mong-gyu, chairman of HDC Hyundai Development Co., leaves the press room at the company headquarters in Seoul, Jan. 17, after offering to resign over the partial collapse of its ... Read more »

N. Korean cargo train departs Chinese city of Dandong to return home: sources

This file photo shows a bridge over the Amnok River connecting Sinuiju in North Korea to the Chinese port city of Dandong. (Yonhap)A North Korean freight train that crossed a ... Read more »

Omicron set be dominant COVID-19 variant in Korea

A health worker wearing protective gear helps a visitor to receive coronavirus testing in the sub-zero temperatures at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in Seoul, Jan. 14. AP-Yonhap ... Read more »

Yoon leads Lee 40.6% to 36.7%: poll

This compilation image shows (from L to R) presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Suk-yeol, Sim Sang-jeung and Ahn Cheol-soo. (Yonhap)Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is leading his ruling party ... Read more »

Talks between Moon, Abu Dhabi crown prince canceled due to 'unforeseen matter of state'

President Moon Jae-in speaks at a business forum on the hydrogen economy in Dubai on Sunday. (Yonhap)The scheduled talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince ... Read more »

Air Force to resume flights suspended in the wake of F-5E crash

Military officials check the wreckage of an F-5E fighter on a hill in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, where the plane belonging to the Air Force’s 10th Combat ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Han Hyo-joo stars as treasure-seeking hero in 'Pirates 2'

Actress Han Hyo-joo / Courtesy of BH Entertainment By Kwak Yeon-soo Actress Han Hyo-joo has taken on a new challenge by starring in the stunt-heavy, adventure fantasy film “The Pirates: ... Read more »

S. Korea and UAE to increase partnership in hydrogen economy

President Moon Jae-in, who is in Dubai for a three-day visit as part of his trip to the Middle East, speaks at a business forum held in Dubai, Sunday. (Yonhap)South ... Read more »

S. Korea, UAE to speed up cooperation in hydrogen ecosystem: Moon

President Moon Jae-in (C) is greeted by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, upon his arrival in Dubai last Saturday. (Yonhap)DUBAI — South Korea will ... Read more »

Opposition party's presidential candidate vows tough response to unauthorized labor rallies

Yoon Suk-yeol (C), the presidential nominee of the People Power Party, punches the air during the launch ceremony of his campaign’s Seoul committee held in the capital on Sunday. (Yonhap)Main ... Read more »

Scandal-hit Osstem facing delisting crossroads

Osstem Implant’s headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of Osstem Implant Over 1,500 investors prepare to file class-action suit against dental implant maker By Yi Whan-woo Scandal-ridden dental implant maker Osstem ... Read more »

Contradicting court rulings over vaccine pass stoke confusion

Visitors scan smartphone QR codes for entry logs at a discount store in Seoul, Sunday. Yonhap 9 p.m. curfew extended through Feb. 6, private gathering limit raised to six By ... Read more »

India emerging as promising EV market

Workers are seen at a Hyundai Motor factory in Chennai, India. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor By Kim Bo-eun Carmakers are increasingly focusing on India’s market for electric vehicles (EV), given ... Read more »

Listed companies become more active in public disclosure

Getty Images By Anna J. Park Listed companies on the Korean stock market have become more engaging, as the number of the firms’ public disclosures increased by 16 percent. According ... Read more »

LG Energy Solution's IPO sucking up stock market liquidity like 'black hole'

LG Energy Solution’s headquarters located on Yeouido / Courtesy of LG Energy Solution By Anna J. Park Ahead of LG Energy Solution’s massive IPO slated later this month, the huge ... Read more »

Korean stock market could face foreign capital outflows on Fed's earlier rate hike

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, left, and Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol / AFP-Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung The Korean stock market is feared to be facing risks of ... Read more »

HDC chief's leadership in crisis due to Gwangju accident

HDC Group Chairman Chung Mong-gyu issues an apology for the June 9 building collapse incident, at Gwangju City Hall on June 10, 2021. Courtesy of the Gwangju City Government By ... Read more »

Samsung's new Galaxy phones to see price hike due to chip shortages

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S21 FE 5G is displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 6. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics By Baek Byung-yeul Samsung Electronics is scheduled to ... Read more »

23rd Jeonju film festival to open in April, host offline screenings

The 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival logo / Courtesy of the Jeonju International Film Festival organizing committee By Kwak Yeon-soo This year’s Jeonju International Film Festival, scheduled from April 28 ... Read more »

Foreign chambers of commerce call for clarity in industrial accident law

New risk for CEOs feared to curb further investments By Kim Bo-eun Foreign firms share the view that industrial accidents need to be prevented, but concerns prevail over a strengthened ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic