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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora