Published : 2013-09-27 21:33
Updated : 2013-09-27 21:33
South Korea and the U.S. will hold their annual high-level defense meeting in Seoul next Wednesday, where the proposed delay in the transfer of wartime operational control is expected to top the agenda.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to arrive here on Sunday for a four-day visit during which he will also preside over a change-of-command ceremony at the U.S. Forces Korea headquarters in Seoul next Wednesday. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will replace Gen. James D. Thurman.
During the Security Consultative Meeting, the allies are expected to further their discussion over the OPCON transfer currently slated for December 2015.
On the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus in Brunei last month, Kim and Hagel concurred on the need to continue their consultations on the issue, noting it was not just a military issue, but a comprehensive one involving political and diplomatic considerations.
Earlier this year, Kim proposed that the allies reconsider the 2015 timetable for the transfer in light of increasing nuclear threats from North Korea. After his stop in Seoul, Hagel is to depart for Japan.