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Korea, US mull over conditions for wartime control transfer
DECEMBER 16, 2013 03:38  
South Korea and the U.S. are reportedly considering adding the South Korean military뭩 capacity to cope with a sudden change of internal situation in North Korea to the "conditions" by which to determine the timing for Washington뭩 transfer of wartime operational control to Seoul. At the joint working-level meeting held in Seoul on Thursday and Friday, the two sides reportedly discussed broad-based issues over shift in security situations on the Korean Peninsula, including possible sudden change of situation that Jang Song Thaek뭩 execution has brought about, as well as the North뭩 nuclear threat.

밪outh Korea and the U.S. have considered the North뭩 nuclear weapons and nuclear threats as core variables in eval‍uating the timing for transfer of wartime operational control, said a source at the Seoul government. 밫he two countries are additionally paying attention to sudden change in the North, since it could serve as a catalyst for translating nuclear and missile threats into realty. A scenario that South Korea and the U.S. are concerned the most is reportedly a situation where an accidental military skirmish between the Koreas occurs at a time when the North Korea뭩 leadership loses control over its nuclear weapons and missiles due to occurrence of a sudden situational change in the North.

For this reason, insiders in the South Korean government suggest that the timing for transfer of wartime operational control should be finalized by additionally eval‍uating the South Korean military뭩 capability to respond, and sharing of roles between Seoul and Washington in the event of sudden situational change in the North. 밫he U.S. established within the U.S. forces in South Korea an organization exclusively responsible for seizing nuclear facilities in the North in the event of a crisis, a ranking official in Seoul said. 밫he South Korean military should objectively eval‍uate what kind of mission it will be able to carry out under such a circumstance.

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