WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- The following are the Guiding Principles South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis signed after their Security Consultative Meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Resolution of the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea: Guiding Principles Following the Transition of Wartime Operational Control
October 31, 2018
(Purpose) After the decision between the Presidents of both nations in 2017 to "expeditiously enable the conditions-based transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) of ROK forces," the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea (hereafter referred to as "the ROK MND") and the Department of Defense of the United States of America (hereafter referred to as "U.S. DoD") have formulated the following Alliance Guiding Principles in order to maintain a strong combined defense posture after the transition of wartime operational control.
(Preamble) The ROK MND and U.S. DoD recognize that since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of Korea (hereafter referred to as "ROK") and the United States of America (hereafter referred to as "U.S.") in 1953, the ROK-U.S. Alliance, built on mutual trust as well as shared values of liberal democracy, human rights, and rule of law, has served a critical role in the security, stability, and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific Region.
The ROK MND and U.S. DoD confirm that the contributions of the ROK – U.S. Alliance are to continue into the future, carrying on the spirit of the ROK- U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty to prevent armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula, promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia, and contribute to global peace.
Together in this recognition, the ROK MND and U.S. DoD mutually approve the following Alliance Guiding Principles in order to maintain a reinforced combined defense posture even after the transition of wartime operational control.
As a symbol of the commitment pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) is to continue to be stationed on the Korean Peninsula and firmly fulfill the security commitment to the ROK.
The ROK-U.S. post-OPCON transition Combined Forces Command and its subordinate combined component commands are to be established to deter external aggression and, if deterrence fails, to defend the ROK.
The post-OPCON transition Combined Forces Command is to operate as a separate standing entity, and receive strategic direction and operational guidance from a Military Consultative Committee which receives bilateral guidance from the ROK and the U.S. national command authorities.
The national authorities of the ROK are to appoint a General or an Admiral to serve as the Commander of the post-OPCON transition Combined Forces Command, and the national authorities of the United States are to appoint a General or an Admiral to serve as the deputy commander of the post-OPCON transition Combined Forces Command.
The ROK MND and U.S. DoD are to continue to maintain and support the United Nations Command, which has served the function of preventing armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and develop the mutual relationships between the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, the post-OPCON transition Combined Forces Command, USFK, and the United Nations Command.
The ROK MND is to continue to develop capabilities to lead the combined defense, while the U.S. DoD provides bridging and enduring capabilities for the defense of the ROK.
The ROK MND is to expand its responsibilities in deterring external aggression, while the U.S. DoD continues to provide extended deterrence.
The ROK MND and U.S.DoD are to engage regularly in consultations even after the transition of wartime operational control in order to strengthen the combined defense posture.
Therefore, together in the recognition that the combined defense structure following the transition of wartime operational control serves to strengthen further the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula provided by the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, the ROK MND and U.S. DoD commit to strive towards developing the Alliance in a mutually reinforcing and future oriented manner.
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