S.Korea can rejects U.S. call for Japan troops intervention in emergency situations: defense minister
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 14:00, September 21, 2015
SEOUL, Sept. 21 -- South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Monday that his country can reject U.S. call for the entrance of Japan's Self-Defense Forces into the Korean Peninsula in emergency situations, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Asked by Rep. Lee Chun-seok of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy about whether South Korea can reject the U. S. military's call for Japanese troops' entrance into the peninsula if an armed conflict breaks out with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Minister Han replied 'yes'.
Han made the comments during the parliamentary audit of military courts under the defense ministry.
Some 28,500 U.S. troops have been stationed here since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice. South Korea handed over the wartime command of its troops to the United States during the fratricidal war. Seoul regained its peacetime operational control in 1994.
Minister Han said that the wartime operational control is implemented according to guidelines by both presidents of South Korea and the United States, noting that the entrance of Japanese troops into the peninsula cannot be allowed unless South Korea's president permits.
His comments came amid growing concerns about the enactment in Japan of controversial security bills that will allow Japan to fight overseas for the first time since the end of World War II.
The security legislation, which had been rammed through Japan' s lower house in July, was approved by the upper chamber on Saturday to enable the Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched overseas to engage in armed conflicts.
Japan's war-renouncing pacifist constitution, enacted after the end of World War II, bans its Self-Defense Forces from doing so or exercising the right to collective self-defense.
South Korea's foreign ministry reiterated its position Saturday that Japan must win consent or request from South Korea before its collective self-defense right is exercised for reasons related with South Korea's national interest and the security of the Korean Peninsula.
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