Defense Minister: US Not to Engage in War without S. Korea

Write : 2017-10-12 15:06:19 Update : 2017-10-12 16:09:42

Defense Minister: US Not to Engage in War without S. Korea

Anchor: The National Assembly began an annual inspection of government ministries Thursday, including the Ministry of Defense. Amid high tension with North Korea, lawmakers asked the defense minister crucial questions about the country’s national security. 
Bae Joo-yon has more.
 
Report: Lawmakers grilled Defense Minister Song Young-moo about the possibility of the United States taking unilateral military action during Thursday's National Assembly inspection of the Defense Ministry.
 
But he insisted the United States will not exclude South Korea or unilaterally engage in war on the Korean Peninsula.
 
Song said South Korea and the U.S. had held consultations in advance on the flight late last month of U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers in international airspace above the East Sea. Song said he spoke personally with his U.S. counterpart about the matter over the phone.
 
Song declined comment on questions about taking out the North’s leadership, or what some call the "decapitation" strategy, and added the ministry believes the North is not yet capable of deploying nuclear weapons.
 
The defense minister responded to longer term questions by saying South Korea will swiftly regain wartime operational control(OPCON) from the U.S. in line with timing and conditions.
 
He said OPCON transfer will allow South Korea’s military to significantly advance its capacity, and that the ministry is transitioning the structure of the military from
defensive to offensive.
 
South Korea and the United States hope to finalize a plan for a future combined command system later this month over the course of two meetings, the annual Security Consultative Meeting(SCM) and the Military Committee Meeting(MCM) on October 27th and 28th.
 
The new system would name a South Korean general as commander with a U.S. general as deputy commander.
 
Thursday’s Defense Ministry review is part of a much broader inspection of 701 government agencies over the course of 20 days, expected to stir up robust debate among rival parties.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.

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