U.S. Tries To Blackmail South Korea
To Accept Anti-China Missile Systems
Oct. 3, 2013 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.
Sources in South Korea have confirmed reports in the South Korean press that the U.S. is blackmailing Seoul over a sensitive issue regarding operational control over South Korean forces in the country in the case of war, to demand that the government agree to accept advanced missile systems and radar — systems which the government recognizes as a threat to China and refuses to allow in their country. (See "South Korea says NO to U.S. ABM Ring Around China").
The U.S. is insisting that operational control over the South Korean forces in time of war be returned from the U.S. to South Korea in 2015. The transfer was intended for an earlier date, but Seoul has repeatedly requested that it be postponed, and continues to request a postponement beyond 2015, until an acceptable peace is established on the Peninsula. Their concern is that a North Korean attack against Seoul—which lies only 31 miles from the North Korean border—would not automatically require a U.S. response after the transfer of operational command, and that this fact might induce the North to launch such an attack.
The Chosun Ilbo, a leading newspaper in South Korea, reported on Oct. 2 in regard to Monday's visit to Seoul by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, that Hagel said that "any delay in the handover of full operational control of South Korean troops to Seoul can be dealt with in connection with South Korea's participation in the U.S.-led missile defense program." These missile systems, such as the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system deployed in Guam during last April's flare-up of confrontation threats between Pyongyang and Washington, are viewed as primarily aimed at China's far more advanced military capacities, rather than North Korea's rather primitive technologies, and Seoul wants nothing to do with Obama's confrontation with China.
Chosun Ilbo added:
"It seems that Hagel is making a quid-pro-quo offer: join the missile defense program and another delay of the handover is possible."
The Park Geun-hye government insists on a strong deterrence capacity against North Korea, but believes that the low-tier Patriot missiles now in place and other low-tier missiles under development are adequate against North Korea's military capabilities.
Seoul is also extremely wary of American and Japanese intentions in deploying these advanced systems in Japan while also moving to change Japan's pacifist constitution, allowing it to engage in military operations "in defense of its allies," which can, of course, be interpreted loosely.