Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un Meet in Pyongyang. Preamble to a North-South Peace Agreement: Repeal of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC)

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
September 19, 2018

Washington has attempted to block the inter-Korean dialogue and sabotage the peace process.

The negotiations are led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is accused by the DPRK of carrying out “gangster like tactics”.

The Trump administration has no intention of reaching a peace agreement which would annul the Armistice Agreement of 1953. Under this agreement the US and the DPRK are still at war.

It is therefore essential for the DPRK and ROK within the framework of the inter-Korean dialogue to reach a bilateral agreement which would render the 1953 armistice (US, DPRK, China) null and void.

How to achieve this objective?

A workable ROK-DPRK Peace Agreement requires the prior annulment of OPCON (Operational Control) and the Repeal of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC) which puts all ROK military forces “in times of war” under the command of a U.S. General appointed by the Pentagon. This procedure is a preamble to the de facto repeal of the 1953 armistice.

In 2014, the government of  (impeached) President Park Geun-hye was pressured by Washington to extend the OPCON (Operational Control) agreement “until the mid-2020s”. As a result of a decision by an impeached president who violated her oath of office, all ROK forces were to remain under the command of a US General rather than under that of the command of the ROK President and Commander in Chief. At present the US has more than 600,000 active South Korean Forces under its command. (i.e. the Commander of United States Forces Korea, (USFK) is also Commander of the ROK-U.S. CFC).

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Why is the repeal of the Combined Forces Command (CFC) a prerequisite to establishing peace on the Korean peninsula?

A Peace Treaty cannot reasonably be implemented if the armed forces of the ROK are under the command of a foreign government. The annulment of the OPCON agreement as well as the repeal of the ROK – US Combined Forces Command (CFC) structure is a sine qua non condition to reaching a Peace Treaty.  

We are dealing with a diabolical military agenda formulated in Washington: The US seeks under the Combined Forces Command to mobilize the forces of South Korea against the Korean Nation. If a war were to be carried out by the US, all ROK forces under US command would be used against the Korean people. The annulment of the CDC is therefore crucial. A prerequisite to the implementation of the April 27 agreement is that the ROK government of president Moon Jae-in have full jurisdiction over its armed forces.

The legal formulation of this bilateral entente is crucial. The bilateral arrangement would in effect bypass Washington’s refusal. It would establish the basis of peace on the Korean peninsula, without foreign intervention, namely without Washington dictating its conditions. It would require as a second step (following the annulment of the Joint Forces command) the withdrawal of all US troops from the ROK.

Moreover, it should be noted that the militarization of  the ROK under the OPCOM agreement, including the development of new military bases, is also intent upon using the Korean peninsula as a military launchpad threatening both China and Russia. Under OPCON, “in the case of war”, the entire forces of the ROK could be mobilized under US command against China or Russia.