Twenty members of the Uri Party issued a statement Monday calling for flexibility in the handover of wartime operational control of Korean troops to Seoul. “There has to be a structure allowing for flexibility in the timetable, with respect to South-North relations, the North Korean nuclear issue, and the state of affairs in Northeast Asia including security on the peninsula,” they said. It was the first time ruling party voices have publicly called for linking the issue of wartime troop control with concerns over the North’s nuclear arms. The group also revealed their stance that the turnover date may be pushed back even further than the 2012 target set by the administration.
The administration’s take: just a flesh wound. Still, this signals unexpected weakness in Roh’s position leading up to 2007. Why even a faction of the North Korean military has come out against it!