The United States is reportedly strengthening South Korea-based multinational forces amid concerns of waning military influence on the Korean Peninsula.
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun said on Monday that the U.S. is reducing the number of US Forces Korea officials doubling as UN Command officials while increasing the number of non-U.S. personnel at the UN Command.
The newspaper also said that the U.S. has elevated British, Australian and Canadian officials to UN Command positions previously reserved for Americans only. This includes the vice commander post, now assumed by a lieutenant general from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Asahi said the move to empower the UN Command comes as concerns are raised over a possible decline in U.S. military influence amid diplomatic calls for a peace treaty between the U.S. and North Korea and the planned transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean forces from the U.S. to South Korea.
The 16-member UN Command was founded to facilitate the UN’s military operations in the wake of the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950.