Pyongyang, Oct 31 (IANS) North Korea has denounced South Korea for delaying retaking wartime operational control (OPCON) of troops from the US, saying the move has taken the Korean Peninsula “to the brink of war”.
The growing military nexus between the United States and South Korea “has gone beyond a tolerance limit”, Xinhua cited a North Korean National Peace Committee of Korea statement as saying.
It would not only increase danger of a nuclear war on the peninsula but also threaten peace and security in Asia and the world at large, it added.
In the statement Thursday, Pyongyang again underscored the purpose of developing its nuclear programme to defend itself from outside attacks in light of the prevailing situation.
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel and his South Korean counterpart Han Min-koo agreed Oct 23 to implement South Korea’s proposal for a conditions-based approach to transferring wartime control of allied forces, known as operational control, to ensure the combined defence posture remains strong and seamless.
The decision means a US general will continue to command Combined Forces Command in Seoul and the US will retain its wartime leadership role until the alliance agrees conditions are conducive for a stable OPCON transition.