Another delay has been made in transferring wartime operational control (OPCON) to ROK from the U.S. This is what I told NK News about it:
Military analyst Subin Kim said that while the basic policy objective – South Korea eventually assuming full control over its defenses – remains in place, the latest announcement offers great leeway in continuing delays.
“We have seen what the military has been doing: It vehemently opposed the original plan of transferring by 2010 when the Roh Moo-hyun administration first laid it out and succeeded to delay it by 2012,” he said. “One of the first things it did after the establishment of the Lee Myung-bak government was once more delaying it by 2015. And here we are now, witnessing the third delay without a distinct timeline.
“Historically in South Korea, conservatives have been reluctant to take the wartime control back from the U.S., construing it as the prelude to the complete withdrawal of the U.S. Forces Korea.”
Kim said he expected no progress toward South Korea regaining wartime control until progressives retake power.
The relocation plan of the USFK HQ in Yongsan has got pretty distorted as they now agreed to leave some core components of the base including CFC, 8th Army HQ as they used to be. Local governments including Seoul and a few cities of Gyeonggi-do province now are going to take an additional collateral damage. The Park administration would have to empty another sack of taxpayer’s money into implementing of this new agreement.
The Yongsan base issue would probably keep making much noise for coming years. Whoever takes the power in the next term of the central government, the Yongsan base issue couldn’t be unraveled…
…unless Lee Seok-ki comes to power.