ROK-U.S. News

Yonhap – Allies in talks on new site for residual U.S. military facilities: sources

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States are in talks over the selection of a new site to house American military facilities that the countries have agreed to retain in central Seoul under their broader base relocation scheme, sources here said Wednesday.

The two sides have been “positively” weighing the idea of putting residual military facilities in a site right next to an area in the northernmost portion of the U.S. military’s Yongsan Garrison — now reserved for the construction of the new U.S. Embassy compound, according to the sources.

Seoul and Washington had initially agreed to put the residual facilities in a 105,000-square-meter site within the southern section of the garrison. The reconsideration came after the recent relocation of South Korea’s presidential office close to that site.

“The two sides are positively discussing the selection of a new site, but no final decision has been made yet,” a source told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity.

The two countries have agreed to retain the residual facilities in Yongsan despite their agreement to relocate other facilities in the garrison to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of the capital. The facilities include the Dragon Hill Lodge.

Allies in talks on new site for residual U.S. military facilities: sources - 1

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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220608003400325?section=national/defense

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Yonhap – U.S. will push for tougher sanctions on N. Korea in case of nuclear test: U.S. envoy

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, May 31 (Yonhap) — The United States will push for additional U.N. sanctions on North Korea should the recalcitrant state go ahead with its feared nuclear test, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Tuesday.

The remarks come after the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) failed to pass a U.S.-proposed sanctions resolution on North Korea last week due to opposition from China and Russia.

“First of all, we need to enforce the sanctions that we have already authority to enforce,” the U.S. diplomat told reporters in New York, according to AFP.

“And we certainly, as we attempted in this last resolution, will push for additional sanctions,” she added when asked if the U.S. would push for a new sanctions resolution if Pyongyang goes ahead with a nuclear test.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had repeatedly warned that a North Korean nuclear test may be in the offing, possibly during President Joe Biden’s recently concluded trip to South Korea and Japan.

Pyongyang fired three ballistic missiles on the heels of Biden’s first visit to Asia last week, marking its 17th show of force this year.

Officials in Seoul and Washington have noted that Pyongyang may have already completed “all preparations” for a nuclear test. The country conducted its last and sixth nuclear test in September 2017.

Shortly after the U.S.-proposed sanctions resolution was vetoed Friday by China and Russia, both permanent members of the UNSC and close allies of North Korea, Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. will continue to hold North Korea accountable for the threat it poses to the region and the rest of the world.

“I am beyond disappointed that the Council has not been able to unify in opposition (to) the DPRK’s unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs. And that failure rests on China and Russia alone,” she has said in a released statement, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The United States will not stand down as long as Kim Jung-un continues his unlawful WMD and ballistic missile program and seeks to threaten regional and global security with more destabilizing ballistic missile launches,” she added.

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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220601000400325?section=nk/nk

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“U.S.-ROK Alliance Memorial Week” on May 30 to June 6, 2022

Download Statement – KUSAF KDVA Joint Message for Alliance Memorial Week

 

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In Support of the ROK-U.S. Summit on May 21, 2022

Full Joint Statement – https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/21/united-states-republic-of-korea-leaders-joint-statement/

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Yonhap – USFK chief stresses need for ‘unfettered access’ to THAAD unit in S. Korea

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) — U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera has called for “unfettered” access to its THAAD missile defense unit here, stressing its absence would undermine the alliance’s ability to defend South Korea.

In a written statement to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense this week, LaCamera made the call, as access to the unit in the southern county of Seongju remains impeded by a set of obstacles, including protesters against the installation of the battery.

Since the unit was placed in Seongju in 2017, it has had the status of a “temporary installation” pending South Korea’s environmental impact assessment — another hindrance to its full-capacity operation.

“Despite significant progress in increasing access to the site over the last year, unfettered access is required to fully ensure logistical support at the site and improve the quality of life for service members stationed there,” LaCamera said.

“Limited access also slows the pace of construction projects on-site, which is critical for maintaining the system’s capabilities, crew training and upgrades. All of this hinders the alliance’s ability to operate this defensive system and defend the ROK people,” he added. ROK stands for the South’s official name, Republic of Korea.

The commander also pointed out the North’s continued push to enhance missile capabilities to put the South, the United States and Japan “at risk.”

“The DPRK continues to pursue capabilities to hold our Korean and Japanese allies at risk with short- and medium-range missiles, hold U.S. strategic bases within the region at risk with intermediate range missiles and hold at risk the U.S. with its intercontinental ballistic missile program,” he said.

DPRK stands for the North’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Touching on the North’s launch of an “unprecedented amount of missiles” since January, LaCamera stressed, “We must assume that some of these systems are likely intended to be nuclear capable.”

This photo, provided on Nov. 5, 2021, by the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC), shows Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera speaking during a ceremony to mark the CFC's 43rd anniversary at the U.S. Army's Yongsan Garrison in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2021, in this photo provided by the command. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided on Nov. 5, 2021, by the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC), shows Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera speaking during a ceremony to mark the CFC’s 43rd anniversary at the U.S. Army’s Yongsan Garrison in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2021, in this photo provided by the command. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220518005200325?section=national/defense

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Yonhap – Yoon to virtually attend summit launching IPEF

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) — President Yoon Suk-yeol will virtually attend a summit in Tokyo next week where U.S. President Joe Biden will formally launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a presidential official said Wednesday.

Yoon’s attendance next Tuesday will likely come after he announces South Korea’s participation in the initiative during his summit with Biden in Seoul this Saturday.

“South Korea will play a proactive role and present a standard for new rules creation,” Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy chief of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters.

Kim also said South Korea will invite other countries to join the initiative and realize its national interest through the IPEF.

The IPEF is a framework unveiled by Biden at the East Asia Summit last October to strengthen U.S. economic cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners in key areas, such as fair trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure, clean energy and decarbonization.

The initiative is widely viewed as an anti-China coalition aimed at excluding China from global supply chains.

A total of eight countries, including the United States, have so far expressed their intention to join the IPEF, Kim said.

Yoon said in a speech to parliament Monday that he will discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on global supply chains through the IPEF when he meets with Biden this week.

This compilation image shows President Yoon Suk-yeol (R) and U.S. President Joe Biden, with the photo of Biden taken from the EPA. (Yonhap)

This compilation image shows President Yoon Suk-yeol (R) and U.S. President Joe Biden, with the photo of Biden taken from the EPA. (Yonhap)

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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220518005651315?section=national/diplomacy

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KDVA ROK-U.S. Alliance Journal 2022-2

2022 2nd Quarter Edition

Featuring stories and articles by KDVA members and supporters of the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

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Yonhap – Biden considers DMZ trip during upcoming visit to S. Korea: sources

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) — U.S. President Joe Biden may visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas during his trip here later this week, as the allies are in consultations on his specific itinerary, informed sources said Tuesday.

Biden is set to arrive in Seoul on Friday, the eve of his first summit with President Yoon Suk-yeol. The DMZ, the heavily fortified inter-Korean border, is among the key sites that Biden could visit during his three-day stay, according to the sources.

The visit to the DMZ, if realized, could serve as a chance for Biden to get a better grasp of the reality of security on the Korean Peninsula and underline solidarity in the Seoul-Washington alliance amid concerns about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test, observers said.

“Should Biden visit the DMZ, it could help ease concerns that the U.S., preoccupied with the Ukraine war, has been paying less attention to the situation on the peninsula,” Kim Tae-hyung, professor of political science at Soongsil University, said. “His DMZ visit could also be used to accentuate the strength of the bilateral alliance.”

This file photo, taken Dec. 7, 2013, shows U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd from R) visiting the Demiliterized Zone separating the two Koreas. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

This file photo, taken Dec. 7, 2013, shows U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd from R) visiting the Demiliterized Zone separating the two Koreas. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Past U.S. presidents visited the DMZ during their trips to South Korea.

In 1983, then President Ronald Reagan traveled to the zone. A decade later, then President Bill Clinton also visited it. George W. Bush and Barack Obama made their high-profile visits to the zone in 2002 and 2012, respectively.

By far the most dramatic trip to the DMZ by an American president came in June 2019, when then President Donald Trump met with then South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an historic trilateral encounter. Trump initially attempted to visit the DMZ aboard a helicopter in 2017, but the trip was canceled due to thick fog.

Biden himself toured the DMZ in his then capacity as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in August 2001 and then as the vice president in December 2013.

While in South Korea, Biden could also visit Camp Humphreys, a sprawling U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, to meet American service members and encourage them, observers said.

Following his trip here, Biden is set to fly to Japan to attend a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) summit with the leaders of the other member nations: Australia, Japan and India.

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News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220517002700325?section=national/defense

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Yonhap – S. Korea, U.S. resume combined medical support exercise

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States held a combined medical support field training earlier this week after years of suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the former’s Army said Friday.

The biannual exercise took place Wednesday and Thursday, with an aim to treat and transport casualties under a chemical warfare scenario, and enhance the allies’ interoperability, according to the Armed Forces Medical Command.

The U.S. Army’s 65th Medical Brigade and other medical units joined the exercise, mobilizing their key assets, including the KUH-1M, a variant of the KUH-1 Surion helicopter, the C-130 transport plane and the U.S. HH-60 choppers.

During the session, South Korean and U.S. service members practiced transporting wounded troops to Camp Humphreys, a key U.S. base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, by train.

South Korea and the U.S. launched the exercise, as they agreed in 2008 on the need for a combined field training on the transportation of troops injured in action. The exercise, however, did not take place in 2020 and last year due to COVID-19.

The resumption of the exercise came just a day after the inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has vowed to cement the alliance and “normalize” the allies’ combined exercises.

Under the previous administration, Seoul and Washington had scaled down their major regular military exercises to help facilitate diplomacy with North Korea.

South Korean and U.S. service members participate in a field exercise in this undated file photo.

South Korean and U.S. service members participate in a field exercise in this undated file photo.

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News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220513008400325?section=national/defense

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Yonhap – U.S. Forces Korea congratulates Yoon on his inauguration

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) congratulated new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on his inauguration, stressing its commitment to maintaining “fight tonight” readiness against “any threat or adversary.”

In a Facebook post, the USFK issued the message as the South and the United States are stepping up defense cooperation amid concerns about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test.

“Congratulations on officially becoming the 20th President of the Republic of Korea, Pres. Yoon Suk-yeol!,” the USFK wrote.

“We remain committed to providing a robust combined defensive posture and maintaining a high level of ‘fight tonight’ readiness to fulfill our obligation to protect and defend the ROK against any threat or adversary,” it added.

ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, Republic of Korea.

Earlier in the day, Yoon described the South Korea-U.S. alliance as a “linchpin” of regional peace and prosperity as he met with U.S. second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and other members of a U.S. delegation that attended his inauguration ceremony.

This photo, provided on April 7, 2022 by the U.S. Forces Korea, shows then President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (C) meeting with South Korean and U.S. military personnel during a visit to Camp Humphreys, a key U.S. base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided on April 7, 2022 by the U.S. Forces Korea, shows then President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (C) meeting with South Korean and U.S. military personnel during a visit to Camp Humphreys, a key U.S. base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220510011100325?section=national/defense

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