South, U.S. mull new joint military

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South, U.S. mull new joint military

Korea and the United States are in talks to create a new joint military operation body to take over some key functions of a soon-to-be-dissolved joint military command, a high-ranking government source said yesterday.

The Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) has served as a command structure for joint operation of military forces of the two allies since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Both agreed to dissolve the CFC as Korea plans to retake wartime operational control of its troops from the U.S. in 2015. Seoul handed over the control to the U.S. shortly after the start of the war.

“As the CFC will be dissolved with the transfer of the wartime operational control to South Korea, diverse measures are being discussed to preserve the joint military operation role held by the command,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

“One of the ways being discussed is to create a new joint operation body which will take over the military operation functions carried out by the CFC,” he added.

Details about the envisioned body - tentatively named “joint operation task force” - have yet to be available but other sources said that talks are under way to launch the new organization by mid-2015 and start its official operation by the end of 2016.

The move comes amid lingering doubt that the two allies will be able to carry out joint military actions as effectively as before if the CFC is dissolved and Korea retakes the wartime operating right.

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