본문 바로가기
  • Home

Legal Status of United Nations Command in Koreaand Transfer of Wartime Operational Control

김동욱 1

1해군대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

There are miscellaneous disputes on legal status of United Nations Command(UNC) domestically or internationally. Recent researches and official letter of UNSG(United Nations Secretary General) could give us the desperate answer. The letter of UNSG delivered to North Korea says as follows; “It follows, accordingly, that the Security Council did not establish the Unified Command as a subsidiary organ under its control, but merely recommended the creation of such a command, specifying that it be under the authority of the United States(US). Therefore, the dissolution of Unified Command does not fall within the responsibility of any United Nations organ but is a matter within the competence of the government of the United States.” Accordingly, dissolution of the UNC in Korea would depend upon decision of the US Government. As we know UNC signed the Armistice Agreement with North Korea and China on 27 July 1953. It is the responsibility of UNC regarding supervision of the Armistice Agreement. The Republic of Korea (ROK) and US agreed the transfer of wartime operational control on 23 February 2007. The ROK will assume wartime operational control from the ROK-US Combined Forces Command on 17 April 2012. Currently CFC Commander wears another hat, namely UNC Commander. There were legal arguments whether the transfer of wartime command would influence the authority of UNC, especially authority on supervision of the armistice agreement. As General Bell disclose his opinion on 18 January 2007 at Press Conference, mismatches would happen between authority and responsibility on supervision the armistice agreement if UNC could not control the ROK Forces in the area of demilitarized zone(DMZ). How can we break through the legal mismatches? There would be two options about the problem. Firstly, the ROK Forces could take over partial authority from UNC, such as repairing facilities located in DMZ. But this approach would not be permanent solution. Because UNC signed Armistice Agreement, it has the responsibility to supervise the agreement. What is next solution? After dissolution of the Combined Forces Command, United States Korea Command(US KORCOM) will be established. If US KORCOM assume the authority of UNC, deadlock would be easily solved.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.