S. Korea and US to rename joint military exercise in consideration of N. Korea working-level talks

2019/07/1563788005.jpg
Read: 656     15:26     22 July 2019    

The South Korean and US militaries have reportedly decided to rename a joint military exercise, currently called 19-2 Dong Maeng, that’s scheduled for the second half of this year. The decision appears to be a response to a recent statement by North Korea claiming that the exercise could affect its working-level negotiations with the US.


On July 21, multiple sources in the South Korean military said that the upcoming joint command post exercise will probably focus on the ability of South Korean military leaders to exercise operational control, known as OPCON, over their forces during wartime, to prepare for the OPCON transfer from the US to South Korea. The sources added that a final decision hasn’t been made about the exact timing, scale, and name of the exercise. A joint command post exercise involves a computer simulation that replicates a wartime scenario, taking place indoors and not involving the actual use of troops or military equipment.

According to a source in the military, the South Korean and American authorities have decided not to use the name 19-2 Dong Maeng, which reports indicated was the name of the upcoming command post exercise. While the ultimate name hasn’t been decided yet, it’s likely to reflect the goal of the two countries’ joint exercises: namely, implementing a new joint command structure led by the South Korean military after the OPCON transfer takes place.

South Korea and the US may have decided that there’s no need to provoke North Korea by naming the exercises “Dong Maeng,” meaning “alliance,” so soon before working-level talks designed to facilitate negotiations about North Korea’s nuclear program.

“After working-level talks between North Korea and the US were scheduled during the meeting between our leaders at Panmunjom [on June 30], the US is attempting to hold the 19-2 Dong Maeng joint military exercise with South Korea in violation of an agreement reached during talks of the highest level,” said the spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry during an interview with a reporter for the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 16. If the exercises go ahead, the spokesperson said, it could have an impact on the two sides’ working-level talks.

The new name of the upcoming command post exercise is likely to highlight the fact that the exercises are supposed to assess the South Korean military’s ability to operate the two countries’ joint defense system following the OPCON transfer. During the Ministry of National Defense’s briefing last year on its plans for 2019, a military official said that “deliberations are underway about conducting joint exercises linked with the OPCON transfer” and that “one joint command post drill will be carried out in the first half of the year and another in the second half, with the latter drill accompanied by an assessment of initial operational capability.”

South Korean and US military authorities have regularly held combined exercises to master procedures for crisis management execution of a joint operational plan during an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. In particular, they intent to use the latest exercise to apply the new combined command structure following the OPCON transfer – with the commander-in-chief of the South Korean military directing a large-scale combined South Korea-US military including US reinforcements – in order to test its capabilities and correct shortcomings. Military authorities for the two sides are scheduled to finalize and announce the actual schedule and scale of the combined command post exercise shortly.

Since 1954, South Korea and the US had held the annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise every August to prepare for a possible emergency on the Korean Peninsula. UFG was a command post simulation exercise conducted indoors with a wartime situation simulated by computer. Last year, the two sides postponed the exercises in an effort to sustain the mood of peace on the Korean Peninsula and usher North Korea toward complete denuclearization; the South Korean government’s Ulchi exercise was integrated with the South Korean military’s independent Taegeuk exercise to form the new “Ulchi Taegeuk exercise.” With this measure, the UFG exercise passed away into history.

Hankyoreh



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News Line

S. Korea and US to rename joint military exercise in consideration of N. Korea working-level talks

2019/07/1563788005.jpg
Read: 657     15:26     22 July 2019    

The South Korean and US militaries have reportedly decided to rename a joint military exercise, currently called 19-2 Dong Maeng, that’s scheduled for the second half of this year. The decision appears to be a response to a recent statement by North Korea claiming that the exercise could affect its working-level negotiations with the US.


On July 21, multiple sources in the South Korean military said that the upcoming joint command post exercise will probably focus on the ability of South Korean military leaders to exercise operational control, known as OPCON, over their forces during wartime, to prepare for the OPCON transfer from the US to South Korea. The sources added that a final decision hasn’t been made about the exact timing, scale, and name of the exercise. A joint command post exercise involves a computer simulation that replicates a wartime scenario, taking place indoors and not involving the actual use of troops or military equipment.

According to a source in the military, the South Korean and American authorities have decided not to use the name 19-2 Dong Maeng, which reports indicated was the name of the upcoming command post exercise. While the ultimate name hasn’t been decided yet, it’s likely to reflect the goal of the two countries’ joint exercises: namely, implementing a new joint command structure led by the South Korean military after the OPCON transfer takes place.

South Korea and the US may have decided that there’s no need to provoke North Korea by naming the exercises “Dong Maeng,” meaning “alliance,” so soon before working-level talks designed to facilitate negotiations about North Korea’s nuclear program.

“After working-level talks between North Korea and the US were scheduled during the meeting between our leaders at Panmunjom [on June 30], the US is attempting to hold the 19-2 Dong Maeng joint military exercise with South Korea in violation of an agreement reached during talks of the highest level,” said the spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry during an interview with a reporter for the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 16. If the exercises go ahead, the spokesperson said, it could have an impact on the two sides’ working-level talks.

The new name of the upcoming command post exercise is likely to highlight the fact that the exercises are supposed to assess the South Korean military’s ability to operate the two countries’ joint defense system following the OPCON transfer. During the Ministry of National Defense’s briefing last year on its plans for 2019, a military official said that “deliberations are underway about conducting joint exercises linked with the OPCON transfer” and that “one joint command post drill will be carried out in the first half of the year and another in the second half, with the latter drill accompanied by an assessment of initial operational capability.”

South Korean and US military authorities have regularly held combined exercises to master procedures for crisis management execution of a joint operational plan during an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. In particular, they intent to use the latest exercise to apply the new combined command structure following the OPCON transfer – with the commander-in-chief of the South Korean military directing a large-scale combined South Korea-US military including US reinforcements – in order to test its capabilities and correct shortcomings. Military authorities for the two sides are scheduled to finalize and announce the actual schedule and scale of the combined command post exercise shortly.

Since 1954, South Korea and the US had held the annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise every August to prepare for a possible emergency on the Korean Peninsula. UFG was a command post simulation exercise conducted indoors with a wartime situation simulated by computer. Last year, the two sides postponed the exercises in an effort to sustain the mood of peace on the Korean Peninsula and usher North Korea toward complete denuclearization; the South Korean government’s Ulchi exercise was integrated with the South Korean military’s independent Taegeuk exercise to form the new “Ulchi Taegeuk exercise.” With this measure, the UFG exercise passed away into history.

Hankyoreh



Tags: