Allies’ JCS chiefs hold annual talks in Washington

SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- The top military chiefs of South Korea and the United States held their annual talks in Washington, D.C. this week over a range of issues, including the transfer of wartime operational control (OCON), Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Friday.

JCS Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki and his U.S. counterpart Joseph Dunford met Thursday (Eastern Standard time) for the Military Committee Meeting (MCM) ahead of next week's Security Consultative Meeting, the allies' annual defense ministers' talks.

At the meeting that also involved other top defense officials of the allies, the two sides focused on the issues of pursuing the conditions-based OPCON transfer and maintaining the allies' robust combined defense posture, officials here said.

Seoul and Washington have been pushing for the OPCON transition in consideration of various factors, such as the North's security challenges and the South's overall capabilities to lead wartime operations.

"(The two sides) approved and signed a set of agreements to guarantee the OPCON transfer," Seoul's JCS said without elaborating further.

The MCM results will be reported at the SCM slated for Wednesday.

On Friday in Washington, D.C., Gen. Park will join a trilateral meeting that involves Dunford and Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, the top uniformed officer in Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

At the meeting, Park plans to seek his counterparts' support for the outcomes of this year's inter-Korean summits, as well as last month's inter-Korean military agreement aimed at reducing tensions and preventing accidental clashes.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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