News / USA

US, South Korea Postpone Transfer of Wartime Force Control

President Barack Obama has agreed to a South Korean request to postpone the transfer of operational control during wartime of South Korea's armed forces to Seoul, part of steps designed to send a clear message to North Korea about the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

Confirmation of the decision, which would delay transfer of wartime control of forces from 2012 until late 2015, came during the bilateral meeting in Toronto between President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

In that meeting, President Obama expressed solidarity with the people of Korea in the wake of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March, which an international investigation said was caused by a North Korean torpedo.

President Obama said President Lee had handled the matter with judgment and restraint, and had rightly insisted on North Korea being held to account for its actions in the U.N. Security Council.

There must be consequences, said Mr. Obama, for such irresponsible behavior on the international stage.

The South Korean president said they also discussed in detail other follow up steps, and agreed that Korea and the United States would do all they can deter any acts of North Korean aggression.

Transferring wartime control of forces, referred to as OPCON, was part of a bilateral agreement negotiated in 2007 under the Bush administration.

Briefing reporters in Toronto, U.S. officials said South Korea suggested the postponement last February before the sinking of the South Korean ship.

"The purpose of the decision is to send a clear message of the U.S. staying power in the region at a time when that message is important given North Korean conduct over the last year and a half," said Ambassador Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Danny Russel, Director for Korea and Japan at the National Security Council, also briefed reporters.

"This extension will strengthen the current transition plan, will allow us to synchronize more closely with South Korea's lead of the combined defense, and that the result will be a more capable alliance," said Russel.

South Korea's president said his country and the U.S. are also working to finalize a strongly-worded statement at the United Nations Security Council condemning North Korea. Ambassador Bader said this would be only part of the overall response to the sinking of the South Korean vessel, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

Leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations, who concluded their summit near Toronto on Saturday, condemned the attack on the Cheonan and demanded that North Korea refrain from committing any attacks or threatening hostilities against South Korea.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More