As Of 1530, 20 OCT
The 38th Security Consultative Meeting Joint Communiqué
October 20, 2006, Washington D.C.
1. The 38th Republic of Korea-United States Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) was held in Washington, D.C. on October 20, 2006. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and ROK Minister of National Defense Yoon Kwang Ung led their respective delegations, which included senior defense and foreign affairs officials. Before the SCM, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, and the Chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Lee Sang Hee, presided over the 28th ROK-U.S. Military Committee Meeting (MCM) on October 18, 2006.
2. Secretary Rumsfeld expressed appreciation for the continued deployment of the ROK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and recognized that the ROK armed forces are making a critical contribution to both Iraqi and Afghan reconstruction, helping the respective governments to build a safe and free nation for their people. Minister Yoon assured continuing close consultations between ROK and U.S. forces in this regard. The Minister and the Secretary shared the view that bilateral cooperation between the two countries on the Global War on Terrorism would strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.
3. The Secretary and the Minister expressed grave concern regarding the North Korean nuclear test of October 9, condemned in the strongest terms the North's clear threat to international peace and security as well as the stability of the Korean Peninsula, and demanded that North Korea refrain from any further action that might aggravate tensions. Both sides welcomed and expressed their support for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718. Secretary Rumsfeld offered assurances of firm U.S. commitment and immediate support to the ROK, including continuation of the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella, consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty. Minister Yoon expressed appreciation for the close cooperation and steadfast support of the U.S. in the face of North Korean intransigence. The Minister and the Secretary observed that their respective Presidents had reaffirmed the shared principle of a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and had agreed to seek a common and comprehensive approach for the resumption and progress of the Six-Party Talks in the ROK-U.S. Summit Talks held on September 14 of this year. Both the Secretary and the Minister shared the view that North Korea should refrain from provocative actions which could worsen the situation. Both sides also urged North Korea to fully implement the Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six-party Talks of September 2005, including North Korean abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, its early return to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and full implementation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements.
4. The Minister and the Secretary also shared the common understanding that the North Korean missile launches of July 2006 were a provocative action that constituted a threat to stability on the Korean Peninsula as well as international peace and security. Both sides agreed that North Korea's continued development of WMD and long-range missiles, along with the danger of proliferation, were a challenge to the ROK-U.S. Alliance. Taking note of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695, both sides demanded that North Korea suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programs and agreed to seek peaceful resolution to this issue.
5. The Secretary and the Minister welcomed the continued development of the ROKU. S. Alliance into a comprehensive, dynamic and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship based on shared values. Both sides concurred that the ROK-U.S. Alliance remains vital to the future interests of the two nations and that a solid combined defense posture should be maintained in order to secure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Both sides praised the fact that the capabilities of the ROK-U.S. combined forces remain at peak readiness.
6. The Minister and the Secretary agreed that the Alliance, including the U.S. presence in Korea, continues to ensure security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia. In this regard, both sides recognized the importance of the United Nations Command. Secretary Rumsfeld reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the security of the ROK and the Mutual Defense Treaty. Minister Yoon further reaffirmed the ROK commitment to mutual defense for the preservation of peace and security.
7. The Minister and the Secretary received reports on the results of the ROK-U.S. Security Policy Initiative (SPI) discussions and expressed satisfaction that, through close consultations, the ROK and the U.S. are making progress both in pending issues concerning realignment of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula and in the joint studies on the development of the future ROK-U.S. Alliance. Both sides agreed to continue and to enhance SPI consultations in 2007 based on the accomplishments of the past two years.
8. The Secretary and the Minister expressed satisfaction with the fact that the ROK and the U.S. reached agreement on the Joint Study on the Vision of the ROK-U.S. Alliance based on the common understanding of the security environment on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Both sides also noted that the study determined that the future Alliance would contribute to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, in the region, and globally. They agreed that the Study presents a way forward for the future ROK-U.S. Alliance in response to the changing security environment.
9. The Minister and the Secretary reviewed the results of the Command Relations Study (CRS) including the issue of wartime operational control, which has been carried out in accordance with the agreements reached at the 37th SCM. They highly praised the fact that the ROK and U.S. have agreed to the CRS Roadmap. Both sides agreed to expeditiously complete the transition of OPCON to the ROK after October 15, 2009, but not later than March 15, 2012. The transition will be based on a mutually agreed and reasoned plan. The Military Committee will report progress on the implementation of this plan annually to the SCM. Both sides agreed to begin immediately to develop a detailed joint implementation plan within the first half of 2007 in accordance with the agreed Roadmap. In noting the target year establishment, Secretary Rumsfeld offered assurance that the transition to a new command structure will be carried out while maintaining and enhancing deterrence on the Korean Peninsula and ROK-U.S. combined defense capabilities. He stated that the U.S. will continue to provide significant bridging capabilities until the ROK obtains a fully independent defense capability. The Secretary further noted that the U.S. will continue to contribute U.S. unique capabilities to the combined defense for the life of the Alliance. Both sides pledged their fullest commitment to meeting agreed-to benchmarks and timelines regarding the transition.
10. The Secretary and the Minister reviewed the progress of relocation of Yongsan Garrison and other United States Forces Korea (USFK) bases. Both sides expressed satisfaction that the relocation and return of the bases are proceeding despite some challenges, and agreed to exert greater effort to advance the relocation and return of USFK bases as planned.
11. The Minister and the Secretary noted with satisfaction that the modernization of the air-to-ground training range at Jik-do to ensure conditions for the ROK and U.S. air forces is on track, and Secretary Rumsfeld expressed appreciation for the determined efforts of the Korean government in resolving the issue. Minister Yoon acknowledged that ensuring sufficient and sustained training conditions for USFK to training ranges is of critical importance for combined readiness. Both sides agreed to make the utmost efforts for the early completion of the modernization of Jik-do range so that training conditions for ROK-U.S. combined military forces are guaranteed.
12. The Secretary and the Minister recognized the successful implementation of mission transfers and combined military capability enhancement plans based on the close consultation between the two countries. Both sides also acknowledged positively the successful agreement on the issue of strategic flexibility of United States forces based in Korea which was presented in the Joint Statement of Strategic Consultation for Allied Partnership held in January 2006.
13. Both sides positively recognized the work of the SCM subcommittees (the Security Cooperation Committee (SCC), the Defense Technology and Industrial Cooperation Committee (DTICC), and the Logistics Cooperation Committee (LCC)). They noted that the DTICC had been given increased stature by raising the level of the Co-Chairs to the Under Secretary / Vice Minister Level. They also acknowledged that as the Alliance evolves, the SCM subcommittee structure must be examined and adjusted to meet current needs, and agreed that the SPI would develop recommendations for consideration at the 39th SCM.
14. The Minister and the Secretary concurred that the 38th SCM and the 28th MCM, through intense discussions on issues pertinent to the realignment of the Alliance and the conclusion of the joint studies on the development of the future ROK-U.S. Alliance, strongly supported the continuous development of a future-oriented Alliance. Both sides agreed to hold the 39th SCM at a mutually convenient time in 2007 in Seoul.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|