[KH Explains] Will LG Energy Solution be Tesla's 4680 battery crisis savior?
Gender Ministry on course for disbandment
US fighter jet drops fuel tanks into Yellow Sea in 'in-flight emergency'
Snow depth exceeds gauge limit at a Gangwon site
Thailand asks S. Korea to toughen K-ETA screening after denied entries of its people
한미, '전작권 전환 재연기' 실무협의 진행키로By KH디지털2
Published : July 31, 2013 - 18:07
한국과 미국 국방부가 서울에서 개최한 제4차 한미 통합국방협의체(KIDD) 회의가 31일 종료됐다.
이틀간 열린 이번 KIDD 회의에서는 우리 정부가 미측에 제의한 전작권 전환시기 재연기 문제를 비롯해 북한의 핵과 미사일 위협에 대응한 맞춤형 억제전략 발전 방안 등이 주요 의제로 다뤄졌다.
양측은 전작권과 관련, 전환시기 재연기 문제를 포함한 전작권 전환과 관련한 추진 상황을 점검하기 위한 실무협의를 계속하기로 의견을 모은 것으로 알려졌다.
정부의 한 소식통은 "심각해진 북한의 핵위협 등 안보상황을 고려해 전작권 전환과 관련한 추진 상황을 점검하자는 우리 측 입장을 미측에 충분하게 설명했다"면서 "양측간 후속 실무협의가 계속 진행될 것"이라고 밝혔다.
국방부는 '전작권 재연기'라는 표현을 공식적으로 사용하고 있지 않지만 전작권 전환과 관련한 추진 상황 점검에는 전환시기 재연기 문제까지 포함되어 있다.
양측은 10월 2일 서울에서 개최되는 제45차 한미안보협의회(SCM) 회의 이전에 전작권 전환시기 재연기 문제에 대한 결론을 도출한다는 계획인 것으로 전해졌다.
회의에서는 북한의 핵과 대량살상무기(WMD) 위협을 공동으로 평가하고 이에 대한 맞춤형 억제전략 발전 방안도 논의했다.
한미는 북한의 핵위기 상황 유형을 ▲ 핵위협 단계 ▲ 사용임박 단계 ▲ 사용 단계 등으로 구분해 구체적인 대응 전략을 수립 중인 것으로 알려졌다.
작년부터 미국의 핵 연구시설인 로스앨러모스연구소에서 '확장억제수단 운용연습(TTX)'을 진행했다.
이번 4차 KIDD 회의에서 논의된 결과는 제45차 SCM에서 최종 합의돼 발표된다.
작년 4월 출범한 KIDD 회의는 한미안보정책구상(SPI) 회의, 전략동맹 2015 공동 실무단(SAWG) 회의, 확장억제정책위원회(EDPC) 회의로 구성됐다.
임관빈 국방부 국방정책실장과 미 국방부의 데이비드 헬비 동아시아 부차관보, 엘라인 번 핵•미사일방어 부차관보 등 양국 국방•외교부 주요 직위자들이 이번 회의에 참석했다. (연합뉴스)
Allies face tough coordination over OPCON transfer
U.S. top brass support December 2015 plan; Seoul hopes for delay
Seoul and Washington face a tough reassessment of the timing of the transfer of wartime operational control as U.S. military leaders appeared cautious over another delay in the handover slated for December 2015.
The allies began their consultations over the possible delay this week at their high-level defense dialogue in Seoul after the South’s request in May for a review of the timeline in light of North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats.
During the two-day Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue that ended Wednesday, Washington officials showed a positive response to the reassessment, Seoul officials said. Yet, top U.S. military officers were in support of the current 2015 plan.
“I do agree with the timetable. It is a bilateral agreement -- Strategic Alliance 2015 -- to turn over operational control by December of 2015,” Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, a U.S. Forces Korea commander nominee, said during a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday.
“I think it’s a good plan ... And I think we should move forward with it,” he said, adding that it was expected to pave the way for enhanced combat readiness.
After the parliamentary process, Scaparrotti is to be promoted to a four-star general and replace Gen. James D. Thurman to take the top positions in the USFK, Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and U.N. Command.
The remarks by Scaparrotti followed similar comments by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
“I support the transfer as scheduled. From a military perspective, the timing of the transfer of wartime OPCON is appropriate,” Dempsey said during a parliamentary session on July 18.
Calling the South Korean military a “very capable force,” he said the allied forces were working hard to have it meet requirements for the transfer including the acquisition of weapon systems; command and control systems; intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance platforms and appropriate and adequate supply of munitions.
Despite the top brass’ support of the 2015 plan, U.S. Pentagon officials were said to have made a positive response to Seoul’s request at the KIDD. The U.S. side was headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia David Helvey.
The allies are expected to decide on whether to postpone the transfer during their high-level Security Consultative Meeting to be held in October in Seoul, observers and sources said.
Seoul’s call for more flexibility in the timing of the handover came as Pyongyang has continued to pose greater security threats to its southern neighbor with its persistent pursuit of nuclear arms and longer-range missiles.
The North has conducted three underground atomic tests including the latest in February, and its successful missile launch in December showed that it was close to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of 10,000 km, far enough to hit the U.S. mainland.
Conservatives here have said that the OPCON transfer could embolden an increasingly provocative Pyongyang.
They also argue it would weaken the U.S. security commitment to the South as Washington seeks to reorganize its forces to make them more flexible, agile and rapid in responding to regional, global security challenges rather than focusing them in a limited zone.
Meanwhile, the Rodong Sinmun, the daily newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, criticized Seoul’s call for reassessing the timing of the transfer, saying, “The South seeks to realize its ambitions to invade the North.”
Initially scheduled for April 2012, the transfer was first delayed to the end of 2015 in June 2010 amid Pyongyang’s continuing provocations, including the torpedoing of the South Korean corvette Cheonan that killed 46 sailors.
The allies agreed in 2007 to transfer wartime operational control in April 2012 as the Roh Moo-hyun administration had sought to enhance Korea’s military self-reliance and “balance” the alliance with the U.S.
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)
US unveils new major sanctions package for Russia's war against Ukraine, Navalny's death
Health care crisis hits highest level amid doctor walkout
S. Korea, US, Japan concur on 'stern' response to NK-Russia arms deal