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S. Korea: Roh Under Fire Over Wartime Command Withdrawal(not going down quietly)
Chosun Ilbo ^
Posted on 08/10/2006 5:24:36 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
|Roh Under Fire Over Wartime Command Withdrawal
Sixteen former defense ministers and nine retired generals on Thursday expressed dismay at President Roh Moo-hyuns remarks in an interview Wednesday that suggested Korea can withdraw wartime control of its troops from the U.S. any time. The president had told the Yonhap news agency Korea is capable of exercising sole wartime operational control of its troops even if we get it back now instead of leaving it in the hands of the U.S.-led Combined Forces Command.
In a statement, the ex-defense chiefs called on the government to seek public consent and parliamentary approval for the move, saying the transfer of operational command is a vital security matter and will cost the taxpayer an astronomical amount of money.
Former defense minister Kim Seong-eun said when he asked the former U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon LaPorte who first proposed the handing over wartime operational control, LaPorte said it was not the U.S. that wanted to hand it over, but the Korean government repeatedly insisted on withdrawing it. Kim quoted LaPorte as saying Washington told Seoul to take back the control if it wanted since a refusal could lead to an outcry from anti-American group in Korea and give the impression the USFK wanted to stay in Korea as long as possible.
|Former defense ministers and retired generals announce a statement at the Korean Veterans Association on Thursday slamming President Roh Moo-hyuns remark that Korea can withdraw wartime control of its troops from the U.S. anytime.
The Constitution says the government must seek approval from parliament when Korea concludes a treaty limiting the nations sovereignty, the chief presidential security secretary Song Min-soon countered. But withdrawing wartime operational control of our troops from the U.S. is surely the opposite, making this not an issue that requires parliamentary approval. But I think that we need to brief the National Assembly appropriately on how the issue is progressing since it is a national issue the public are deeply interested in. Song also indicated that some of the former ministers have changed their tune. We have sought to withdraw wartime operational control from the U.S. since 1990, and some of those who now say that regaining it is unfeasible have participated in that process.
Meanwhile, a U.S. official involved in bilateral consultations on the issue Wednesday called highly inappropriate President Rohs insistence on using the word withdrawal instead of exercising sole control of Koreans troops. He said it seemed Roh was deliberately using the term to give South Koreans the impression that the nation is taking something that belongs to it out of U.S. hands. The official added Roh was wrong to say South Korea is the only nation that does not have operational control of its own troops since some NATO members such as the U.K. and Germany also agreed to transfer operational control to the NATO commander-in-chief in crises.
The U.S. official said the reason Roh portrayed almost all military issues between the two allies in the context of Koreas sovereignty despite the fact that wartime operational control is purely a military concept and has nothing to do with sovereignty was an attempt to appeal to voters.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: controversy; firestorm; geopolitics; korea; northkorea; opposition; pronorth; rohmoohyun; southkorea; us; wartimecommand
To: TigerLikesRooster; AmericanInTokyo; OahuBreeze; yonif; risk; Steel Wolf; nuconvert; MizSterious; ...
posted on 08/10/2006 5:26:25 PM PDT
by Jet Jaguar
The following is my reply from another thread. Some redundant information is there, but the whole content is pretty much relevant.
S. Korea is heading to maelstrom of political turmoil from now until end of 2007. Rather than forestalling the turmoil, Roh is deliberately stoking it. Public is decidedly against this reckless move.
Here is his pro-North policy works: First, he and his allies sabotage things essential for U.S. troop presence and backstabbing U.S. at every move. On the other hand, he works to keep U.S. from completely cutting ties with S. Korea. That is why he agreed to dispatch 3,000 S. Korean troops to Iraq, and is now actively pursuing S. Korea-U.S. FTA. He want to continue sending aids to North in large quantities and work to let U.S. troops leave, and sabotage U.S. efforts of stepped-up pressure on North. However, if U.S. completely abandons S. Korea, S. Korea can no longer serve as effective shield for N. Korea. Therefore, he provides something he thinks U.S. may not refuse.
Actually, I suspect this is in keeping with Kim Jong-il's calculation. He does not want S. Korea to completely break up with U.S. for now. To Kim Jong-il, it is important that S. Korea does not become the hostile country of U.S. at this time. Then U.S. can punch through N. Korea's shield(S. Korea) and destroy S. Korea.
Roh is content to wallow on his defiance. He not only defies U.S., Japan, but his party and general public as well. His attitude is, "I am the president, and what are you going to do about it?"
As I suspected, chances are hight that situation in S. Korea and N. Korea would end in a bang. I am not certain that war will erupt. However, people in S. Korea are talking about second impeachment of Roh. Some also argue for referendum on scrapping the combined command structure. Actually all surviving former defense ministers gathered up and voiced opposition to Roh. This time, there is little support for Roh. Roh is also stoking so-called "National Seucrity Politics." That is, a political situation where national security becomes a paramount agenda. It has been anathema to lefties in S. Korea. because it was conservatives' bread and butter. Now he is inviting it. Hardcore conservatives now in a situation where they are totally comfortable with.
I am not saying the opposition party, but grass-root activists all over the country. The opposition party, for now, is engaged in "reaching out and touching" hostile segment of voters. I am not sure how effective it would be. They are in play-safe, not-offending-anyone mode now. Things could change, but that is where it is.
Nevertheless, Roh may not leave office in an orderly way. Anti-North force can mobilize and clash with pro-North elements big time. In the background, N. Korean regime could go down.
What a wonderful situation to be in! /sarc
I REALLY want Roh's first name to be "Rut"
posted on 08/10/2006 7:36:27 PM PDT
(DNC: if it weren't for groupthink we'd have no think at all.)
But... but... but... the college/university crowd absolutely ADORE him.
And they are Korea's future.
Give it 10 more years and the bulk of the SKorean populace will think just like Roh.
posted on 08/10/2006 8:58:18 PM PDT
(I criticize everyone... and then breath some radioactive fire and stomp on things.)
Well, actually, they did think like him in 2002~2005. There will still be some crowds who hang on to his way of belief and attitude. However, majority of them are fed-up now and will be.
They are all busy charting alternative course of action, based on centrism and moderation. Sounds familiar? With Roh now even playing with the foundation of national security, they are afraid of outright collapse of the S. Korean left. These days, many are calling themselves 'political right.' That is the way they can survive politically. 'progressive' is out, 'pragmatism' and 'centrism' are in for the erstwhile left crowds.
They still hate staunch political right, though. It will probably kill them to put up their mask to hide what they were and are and put themselves so close to the political right they have hated so long.
Then U.S. can punch through N. Korea's shield(S. Korea) and destroy
S. Korea N. Korea.
I am not
saying talking about the opposition party, but grass-root activists all over the country.
ROFL. You get a scooby snack for that one.
posted on 08/11/2006 8:16:54 AM PDT
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