Monday, July 28, 2014

Combined Forces Command Could Stay in Seoul

The ROK/US Combined Forces Command has to remain in Seoul unless the ROK JCS is going to relocated Korean officers to Camp Humphreys (and of course no ROK/US CFC facilities have been built at Camp Humphreys).  It also needs to remain there because it falls under the control of the Military Committee.  My recommendation is to move EUSA and USFK to Camp Humphreys while leaving the ROK/US CFC in Seoul.  Once EUSA and USFK vacate Yongsan, the garrison should be returned to ROK military control and renamed.  US forces assigned to ROK/US CFC would remain in the former Yongsan garrison as tenants of the new ROK military installation.

Combined Forces Command Could Stay in Seoul

The U.S. Forces Korea are mulling the idea of keeping the Combined Forces Command in Seoul once USFK headquarters have been moved from Yongsan to Pyeongtaek south of the capital. 

USFK Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti on Sunday said, "So that is under consideration, but again both nations work hard at this, and simply my intent is to come up with the best posture for the security of this country."

He was speaking to reporters after a ceremony marking the 61st anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War at the truce village of Panmunjom. "As we work through negotiations" on the transfer of full operational control of Korean troops to Seoul, "our governments are working together on what's the best posture for all of our command and control."

This was the first open suggestion from the USFK chief that the CFC could stay in Seoul even though forces are retreating further from the inter-Korean border.
North Korean soldiers take a photo of USFK Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti in Panmunjom on Sunday. /NewsisNorth Korean soldiers take a photo of USFK Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti in Panmunjom on Sunday. /Newsis
Under a bilateral agreement, the USFK headquarters will move to Pyeongtaek by 2016 and the CFC, which is also housed at the Yongsan garrison, was supposed to be disbanded when troop control is transferred to Seoul in December 2015.

But the two countries recently agreed to keep the CFC intact and delay the transfer of operational control. 

The U.S. side wants it to remain in Seoul, but the South Korean government and military are reportedly uncomfortable with the idea for fear of resistance from local administrations, including the Seoul city government, and some civic groups. / Jul. 28, 2014 11:58 KST

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