The underlying dilemma among the general public in South Korea is a gross mismatch between the economic superiority and security concern, especially military arena, in the context of inter-Korea relations. One the one hand, the South Korea’s economy is more than 50 times as large as that of the North, while majority of South Korean have a disproportionately serious security concern from the North Korea’s military threat. In its relentless quest for the occupation of Korean peninsula on its own terms, Pyongyang regards the United Nations Command (UNC) in Korea as an intermediate barrier in the path of the eventual elimination of the United States Forces in Korea (USFK) along with the ROK-U.S. alliance from the peninsula. In essence, from North Korea’s viewpoint, the UNC is the weakest link in the triangle framework, which is consisted of UNC, USFK and the ROK-U.S. alliance, and that as such, its demise is just a matter of time when the declaration of the end of (Korean) war, peace treaty and/or the transfer of Operational Control (OPCON) are to be realized in the not so distant future. Against this backdrop, the crucial question to be raised is whether the UNC is a lawful subsidiary organization of the United Nation. The implication and repercussion of the answer goes far beyond the level of binary “Yes, or No” reply. Rather, it will be directly related to the heart of such issues as the UNC’s legal foundation and raison d’être, the lawfulness of its establishment, its international status and prominence, as well as its termination or existence in the future times to come.
The subject-matter of this study is exploring a substantive answer to the afore-mentioned question: “Is the UNC is a lawful subsidiary element of the United Nation?” To attain the research purpose, the Chapter II followed by the Introduction will focus on the nature of relations between the UN primary elements and subsidiary ones, including the delegation of powers to UN subsidiary organs in the context of the UN Charter. The Chapter III will undertake a case study of the UNC in Korea, with particular emphasis on the legally verified organs of Security Council in establishing the subsidiary organ, the delegation of its powers to UNC as well as to member states. Lastly, Chapter IV will include the major findings of this study, along with policy implications to be taken into account in strengthening functions, roles and prominences of the UNC in the future.