Moon Jae In stresses need for early transfer of wartime operational control from US


  South Korean President Moon Jae In  said in a speech to celebrate the 69th anniversary of Armed Forces Day that the government aimed to regain the wartime command of South Korean forces early from Washington.
South Korean President Moon Jae In said in a speech to celebrate the 69th anniversary of Armed Forces Day that the government aimed to regain the wartime command of South Korean forces early from Washington. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL (BERNAMA) - South Korean President Moon Jae In on Thursday (Sept 28) stressed a need for early transfer of wartime operational control of its forces from the United States to better tackle the North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Mr Moon said in a speech to celebrate the 69th anniversary of Armed Forces Day that the government aimed to regain the wartime command of South Korean forces early from Washington, and that the transfer will make the military's capability leap forward.

The president said the North Korea will be scared of the South Korean military when it has the wartime control of its own troops.

South Korea handed over its operational command to the US forces after the three-year Korean War broke out in 1950. The country won back its peacetime operational control in 1994.

To strengthen its standalone defence capability, Mr Moon said the military should make all-out efforts to rapidly build a so-called "three-axis" defence platform, including the Kill Chain, the Korean Air and Missile Defence (KAMD) and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR).

The Kill Chain is designed to preemptively strike the North Korea's missile launch sites when any sign of the first strike is spotted. The KMPR is a project to preemptively strike the North Korea's leadership and headquarters with massive missile attacks when Pyongyang's first strike sign is detected.

The KAMD is a project to develop its indigenous missile defence system to shoot down incoming North Korea missiles at multiple layers. It includes the development of interceptors such as medium-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM) and long-range surface-to-air missiles (L-SAM) that can intercept missiles at an altitude of less than 100km.

Mr Moon said top priority should be put on securing defence capability against the North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

Tensions ran high on the Korean Peninsula as the North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept 3. It was followed by its test launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan in response to the UN Security Council's unanimous adoption of a new resolution toughening sanctions on Pyongyang.

The war of rhetoric was resumed between Pyongyang and Washington after US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang of a total destruction if it continues to threaten the United States and its allies.

In response, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare statement, which warned Washington of the highest-level hardline countermeasure in history.