U.S. Seen Increasing Asia-Pacific Influence

The United States is expected to enhance its defense posture in the Asia-Pacific region this year to check the rise of China, a Korean thinktank said. Korea currently maintains 3,260 troops in Irbil, a town in northern Iraq. The troops are engaged in huma

U.S. Seen Increasing Asia-Pacific Influence

"The United States will put top priority on its global strategy on Northeast Asia with concerns over China's emergence as a regional power and North Korea's nuclear threat. Especially, the United States is expected to reinforce its forces deployed in Guam, Hawaii and Japan as core deterrents to the China's military enhancement," the government-affiliated Korea Institute for Defense Analyses said in the report released yesterday.

The KIDA report said U.S. foreign policy this year will not depart very far from last year's position. But it predicts the United States may tone down unilateral measures on certain issues in pursuit of a multilateral approach.

The report also anticipates that North Korean human rights issues may be an obstacle to regional cooperation as the U.N. General Assembly last month passed a resolution pressuring the communist regime on its record.

Regarding the Korea-U.S. alliance, the report said the two countries are expected to split over strategic flexibility and transfer of wartime command from the United States to Korea. Washington has requested Seoul agree that U.S. forces stationed on the Korean Peninsula can be dispatched for regional conflicts. However, Korea has refused to allow the U.S. forces assume an expanded mission over concerns that Seoul may involuntarily become involved in the conflicts due to their close relationship.

The alliance may also be pressurized by Korean domestic groups to withdraw Korean troops from Iraq and shorten the deployment mandate. Korea currently maintains 3,260 troops in Irbil, a town in northern Iraq. The troops are engaged in humanitarian aid.

KIDA also enumerated this year's major defense issues as the development of the Security Policy Initiative, military reform, a base-setting for peace system on the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a network-centered warfare system.

The research institute said the alliance has to discuss the expansion of its operational area from the peninsula to the region, and the two sides need to consider establishing an advisory committee attached to their presidential authorities to recover trust between the allies and reshape the alliance format.

It finally said the government should encourage international consensus on respecting the armistice accord agreed to end the 1950-53 Korean War until a peace treaty on the peninsula comes into effect, and institutionalize proper procedures to establish a peace treaty on the peninsula.

Source: The Korea Herald

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16