This house believes that Wartime Operational Control must be transferred as planned

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discussion

Continuous provocation of North Korea has heightened tension in Korean peninsula. Accordingly, issue on changing Wartime Operational Control (WT-OPCON) which was scheduled to be on December of 2015 has become hot potato. Republic of Korea and United States of America had reached an agreement in 2006 initially, in 2013 and then in 2015 December. Then again in November 2014, ROK and US agreed on postponing change of WT-OPCON at least later than 10 years, which is 2020s, from scheduled time, next year. Therefore, US military base in Yongsan in Seoul and in Dongdoochun is consented to remain as they are. Those who are welcoming such decision of this government state that responding ability of our army to the threat of missile and nuclear weapon of North Korea is too unstable to safely protect our country. On the other hand, those who are stating that it is necessary to find back our WT-OPCON as scheduled strongly criticize this action as a government’s irresponsibility to give away the lordship in military field. Should Wartime Operational Control be transferred as scheduled in December of 2015?

 

data

Wartime Operational Control (WT-OPCON)
It is the right to control all the operations of army in the wartime, so-called Wartime Operational Control. Operational Control of Korean Army is divided into Peacetime Operational Control and Wartime Operational Control. The Peacetime Operational Control is given to the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. Wartime Operational Control belongs to ROK-US Combined Forces Command. Here, the Wartime refers to when Defense Readiness Condition Level 3 is called. (DEFCON 3 is described as that there is a possibility for army intervention and Armed Forces should be ready to deploy and engage in less than 6 hours). Generally, the level of DEFCON is increased when the sign of war battle heightens such as when the troop in enemy country moves in great size, or wartime materials are exported. DEFCON increase should be approved by presidents in both countries after appealed to the ROK-US Combined Forces Command.

Meanwhile, at the ROK-US Defense Ministers Meeting held in Washington, U.S. on 24th February 2007, it was agreed to be transferred back to our army at the day of 17th April 2012. Then, in the following meeting of ROK-US Summit held in 26th June 2010, the date of transfer of WT-OPCON was agreed to be scheduled at December 1st 2015. However, in the SCM between ROK-US held in Washington, US on 23rd October 2014, the issue on the transfer date was changed. They reached an agreement on that transfer of WT-OPCON should be not a definite date but re-assessed so that it can be done when Korean Military Army is ready to respond to any threat and Safety circumstance is improved, considering three conditions. The three conditions are as follows: ▲Safety Circumstances in Korean Peninsula and military zone ▲Core Military Ability of Korean Army after Wartime Operational Control ▲ Essential Respond Ability of Korean Army against the Nuclear& Missile of North Korea.

 

news

Guardian, South Korea wants US to keep control over combined wartime defence forces, 8 oct 2013

Stripes, US, South Korea agree to again delay handover of wartime operational control to Seoul, 22 dec 2014

VOA, Analysts: Delaying Transfer of Korean Wartime Forces Control Is Right, 24 oct 2014

 

pros opinion

a. Extension of Wartime Operational Control is the surest strategy for strong defense.
The ROK-US Military Alliance prevents war in the Korean peninsula, and it is the most effective and efficient way to thwart the provocation of DPRK, whether we like it or not. It is more important than the ideal self-defense that we should be able to protect lives of our people and protect the country. Therefore, it is definitely reasonable to postpone the transfer of Wartime Operational Control, which seems absurd currently.

b. Implicit hostility to the Wartime Operational Control should be given away.
‘Wartime Operational Control’ refers to the right to control the operations of the ROK-US Combined Forces in the Wartime. Unfortunately, it is our current reality that the Combined Forced Command system completely depends on the US Army’s military strategy and military power. Neglecting such reality, it is absurd and dangerous, moreover, to simply emphasizing the emotional aspect of Operational Control sharing by stating such vocabularies as ‘lordship’, ‘control’, which seems to be a mere political media strategy.

 

cons opinion

a. Defense of the nation should not be handed over to other’s hands.
Eventually, it is our own power to handle the crisis and protect ourselves from the danger. It is true that for the last century, Military Alliance with US has assisted a lot for protecting our country. However, it has come to the time that we, as a nation, on our own should overcome the crisis and take care of self-defense in reality. Handing our lives to someone else’s hands should not be continued by servile-ly cancelling off the plan for Wartime Operational Control Transfer, which we had worked hard to make it work.

b. Nothing comes for free
Historically, Korean peninsula has been laid in the middle of powerful countries with unique dynamics. Through its experience in such history, we have learned that numerous promises and treaties that have been signed were mere decisions made based solely on each country’s own benefits. It may be frightening and there can be lots of pressure on being ‘on our own’, but it is certainly reasonable and essential for a nation to hold right for self-defense, which is more valuable and critical than anything else.

 

reference

The Transfer of Wartime Operational Control in Korea:History, Risks and Tasks from a Military Perspective. (thesis, The Korean Journal of International Studies Vol.8 No.2, 2010.12)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

United States Forces Korea


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  Opinions

  1. 들어봐좋으니까의 프로필추천댓글
    Lv4 들어봐좋으니까 님의 반대 의견 - 2년 전

    At first, we should understand a country’s military power is really important to the country.
    And that should belong to that country not to the others.
    it’s really important if the country which is autonomous want to be a real country.
    because if the wartime control belonged to other countrys, the country who should depend their territory must be taken advantage to the coutry who have the right of military.
    we can have an alliance between one coutry’s millitary power and the others. but one country couldn’t have other country’s millitary right. if not so, the country who don’t have their millitary right is just an puppet by the other country who have thier millitary right.
    That’s my opinion and I want to fix what I mistaked on my writting, grammar or the opinion it self.
    thank you very much to read my lacked grammar English writting.

    1 0 답글
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