S. Korea, US clash over how to proceed with joint military exercises

2020/06/1590998299.jpg
Read: 590     12:43     01 June 2020    

South Korea and the US are reportedly at odds over the methods for their joint military exercises for the second half of 2020, which are scheduled to take place in August. An additional pressure point has arisen between South Korean and US military authorities following their disagreement over a recent incident involving gunfire from a North Korean guard post.


According to accounts from South Korean military sources on May 31, the South Korean military has insisted that the joint military exercises in August should focus on the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) as originally planned, while US Forces Korea has argued that they should emphasize joint readiness following the cancellation of the exercises scheduled for March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

At their Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in November 2019, the South Korean and US defence ministers agreed to approve an assessment of the future alliance command’s initial operational capability (IOC) for the OPCON transfer and to pursue testing this year on its full operational capability (FOC). If the two sides conduct FOC testing during the second half of this year and testing for full mission capability (FMC) next year as originally planned, this would complete the military preparations for the OPCON transfer.

The South Korean military’s position is that the exercises held in August should be FOC drills for the OPCON transfer as per the schedule previously agreed upon by the two sides. USFK, for its part, has insisted that with the command post exercise (CPX) scheduled for early March having been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus, the August exercises should be focused on examining the readiness posture to compensate. USFK Commander Gen. Robert Abrams has been emphasizing the importance of maintaining a “fight tonight” readiness posture.

In response, a South Korean military official explained, “With the coronavirus situation and other variables, it’s unclear what will happen with the joint exercises in August, so there hasn’t been a lot of progress in discussions with the US, and the difference in views between the South Korean and US military authorities is not all that pronounced.”

The differences come in the wake of another clash between the two sides over whether a May 3 incident involving gunfire at a North Korean guard post was intentional. At the time, the South Korean military claimed that the shots from the North Korean side were unintentional, citing North Korean troop activity and weather conditions. But the US-led UN Command later said that its investigation “was unable to definitively determine if the four rounds were fired intentionally or by mistake.” This led to some friction, with the South Korean Ministry of National Defence immediately issuing a statement expressing its dismay.

Hankroyeh



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News Line

S. Korea, US clash over how to proceed with joint military exercises

2020/06/1590998299.jpg
Read: 591     12:43     01 June 2020    

South Korea and the US are reportedly at odds over the methods for their joint military exercises for the second half of 2020, which are scheduled to take place in August. An additional pressure point has arisen between South Korean and US military authorities following their disagreement over a recent incident involving gunfire from a North Korean guard post.


According to accounts from South Korean military sources on May 31, the South Korean military has insisted that the joint military exercises in August should focus on the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) as originally planned, while US Forces Korea has argued that they should emphasize joint readiness following the cancellation of the exercises scheduled for March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

At their Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in November 2019, the South Korean and US defence ministers agreed to approve an assessment of the future alliance command’s initial operational capability (IOC) for the OPCON transfer and to pursue testing this year on its full operational capability (FOC). If the two sides conduct FOC testing during the second half of this year and testing for full mission capability (FMC) next year as originally planned, this would complete the military preparations for the OPCON transfer.

The South Korean military’s position is that the exercises held in August should be FOC drills for the OPCON transfer as per the schedule previously agreed upon by the two sides. USFK, for its part, has insisted that with the command post exercise (CPX) scheduled for early March having been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus, the August exercises should be focused on examining the readiness posture to compensate. USFK Commander Gen. Robert Abrams has been emphasizing the importance of maintaining a “fight tonight” readiness posture.

In response, a South Korean military official explained, “With the coronavirus situation and other variables, it’s unclear what will happen with the joint exercises in August, so there hasn’t been a lot of progress in discussions with the US, and the difference in views between the South Korean and US military authorities is not all that pronounced.”

The differences come in the wake of another clash between the two sides over whether a May 3 incident involving gunfire at a North Korean guard post was intentional. At the time, the South Korean military claimed that the shots from the North Korean side were unintentional, citing North Korean troop activity and weather conditions. But the US-led UN Command later said that its investigation “was unable to definitively determine if the four rounds were fired intentionally or by mistake.” This led to some friction, with the South Korean Ministry of National Defence immediately issuing a statement expressing its dismay.

Hankroyeh



Tags: