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Defense minister stresses the importance of “securing the conditions required for accelerating OPCON transition in a timely mann...

Minister Suh Wook presented the direction at a meeting to promote and assess the OPCON transition

Suh stressed the need to strengthen the capability to respond to nuclear and missile threats, as well as key military capabilities

Suh asked to focus on the successful completion of FOC verification


Defense minister stresses the importance of “secur


Minister of National Defense Suh Wook stressed the importance of securing the conditions required for the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) in a timely manner, including key military capabilities and the capability to respond to nuclear and missile threats.


Suh presented the progress direction in 2022 at the ‘meeting to promote and assess the OPCON transition’ held at the main conference of the ministry on January 19.


The meeting was attended by officials from the ministry and top military officers, including the Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Chief of Staff, Navy Chief of Staff, and Air Force Chief of Staff, Deputy Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, and Commander of the Marine Corps.


This meeting was held in an effort to assess the results of the OPCON transition project that had been pushed by the military in 2021, and to accelerate the OPCON transition by building a consensus on the direction and implementation plan for 2022.


The participants shared the assessment that our military had made considerable progress in securing key military capabilities to take the lead in the future combined defense, and the alliance capability to respond to the North’s nuclear and missile threats. They also agreed to work to accelerate the OPCON transition by securing the required capabilities early.


“The assessment of the full operability capability (FOC) of the future combined command will be carried out this year. In recognition of its significance and importance, we should concentrate our efforts on the successful completion of the FOC verification,” Suh said, asking the participants to “keep paying attention to the FOC verification so that related projects can be promoted according to the plan in close cooperation with the US side.”


To prepare for the FOC assessment, the participants agreed that our military will develop the assessment plan by organizing and managing an ROK-US joint working-level group, and make systematic preparations for every project on the basis of a joint roadmap between the ROK and the US.


Regarding the results of pushing for the OPCON transition last year, Suh assessed that “we achieved considerable results thanks to efforts at all levels of the armed services,” adding, “We stably managed the pending issues of the ROK-US alliance through close cooperation between the defense authorities of the ROK and the US, even after the inauguration of the Biden Administration and amid the COVID-19 situation, and created favorable conditions for pushing for the OPCON transition.”


The ROK and the US agreed to carry out FOC verification this year at the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in December 2021. The two allies also set conditions for the FOC verification by conducting a rehearsal for the FOC verification during the command post exercises in the first and second half of the year.


The ministry also promised to complete comprehensive joint studies on the capabilities reflected in the ‘conditions-based wartime OPCON transition plan (COTP),' which represents the foundation of a systematic OPCON transition, and to revise the appendix of Amendment No.1 of COTP before the Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD), slated to be held in the first half of this year.


“All of us who are involved in Korea's defense should continue to work to push forward with a stable OPCON transition, working with a mindset of cooperating in harmony,” Suh said, stressing that “the OPCON transition is one of the government’s key state affairs, and an essential task in achieving ‘responsible defense.’”

By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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