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Rumsfeld's departure may send positive message to N.K.
Cat : New Cons
Date : 2006-11-09 13:36:44                      Reader : 288
calling for invading Iraq even before 9/11 were serving Israel agenda !! Rumsfeld fall is a message for the world that International war against terrorism is a big lie particularly in Iraq !! Rumsfeld mocked the whole world by claiming that fighting terrorism in Iraq is better than fighting it in US .
Then what about threats against Iran and N.K.?! Is it also for fighting terrorism ?! U.S. should think of new methods to work with UN to settle world crises in Palestine , Iraq, Afghanistan , Lebanon and terrorism among others.


WNN.COM 9/11/2006

Rumsfeld's departure may send positive message to N.K.

By Lee Dong-min
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- The departure of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is not expected to seriously change the security arrangements and agreements already in place with South Korea, but there may be a bit more wiggle room on one of the most contentious bilateral issues, the transfer of operational control.

It may also send a positive message to North Korea, telling it that Rumsfeld's hawkish Pentagon may soften.

The morning after the Republicans' defeat in Tuesday's mid-term elections, Rumsfeld resigned, to be replaced by Robert Gates, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It was under the outgoing defense secretary that Seoul and Washington expedited what were issues of prolonged discussions -- U.S. troop reduction and relocation, the principle of "strategic flexibility" that frees American forces in South Korea to be dispatched elsewhere in the world, and the remake of the shared command system.

"All of these decisions have previously been made and approved by experts and officials," Katy Oh, a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, told Yonhap.

"They are not going to change just because the secretary is changed," she said.

William Arkin, a former U.S. military intelligence officer, agreed.

"U.S. and South Korean decisions and agreements have been made in joint groups and were not really Rumsfeld initiatives per se," he said.

But the two countries have yet to agree on the transfer of wartime operational control, an issue that symbolizes South Korea's stature in the international community and ability to defend its own nation, which would also recast Seoul's security relations with North Korea and with the region.

South Korea voluntarily put the control of its military under the U.S.-led U.N. Command shortly after the outbreak of the 1950-1953 Korean War. It regained peacetime control of its forces in 1994, but wartime control still sits with the American commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

Seoul wants the transfer in 2012, but Washington wants it completed in 2009. Rumsfeld has been one of the strongest advocates for earlier transfer. The matter was intensely discussed at the annual defense ministers' meeting last month but was left unresolved. A joint communique said the two countries agreed the transfer would take place between Oct. 15, 2009, and March 15, 2012.

Oh said the transfer is a given, but the timing depends on Rumsfeld's successor and how much attention he will give to the issue and how he sees the situation.

"One can say only after the new secretary completes his policy review," she said.

The change may be more atmospheric than issue-specific, according to Arkin.

Rumsfeld is counted as one of the hawks when it comes to North Korea policy, and with Tuesday's election results that weaken President George W. Bush's Republican administration, the tone can certainly soften at the Pentagon and elsewhere in the government.

"If anything, I think this could have a positive impact, because Pyongyang might interpret this to mean that someone that they perceive as being intent upon going to war is gone, thereby giving them more breathing room to engage in some kind of diplomatic solution," Arkin said.

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