By GI Korea
April 18th, 2014 at at 9:29 pm
Here is another former USFK commander weighing in on the possibility of changes happening to USFK after the hand over of operational control to South Korea:
Former commander of U.S. Forces Korea said even if wartime operational control is returned to South Korea, the structure of the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command should be maintained.
General John Tilelli made the remark in a speech at the Korea Economic Institute in Washington. He also said who has command of power is not important.
Tilelli added a single condition such as North Korea giving up its nuclear or missile development shouldn’t start the command transfer. He said a shared blueprint of the issue should be made between Seoul and Washington.
Tilelli was commander in chief of U.S. Forces Korea from 1996 to 1999. [KBS Global]
Readers now have one more way to stay up to date with your favorite K-blog, the ROK Drop. Please enter your e-mail address to receive a weekly newsletter highlighting the top posts and discussions on the site. This newsletter will never be used for spam purposes and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Email Marketing Software You Can Trust
By GI Korea
April 18th, 2014 at at 4:29 pm
By GI Korea
April 18th, 2014 at at 1:21 pm
Families of missing passengers in the sinking of the ferry Sewol stay at a gym on Jindo Island in southwestern South Korea on April 17, 2014. (Yonhap)
By GI Korea
April 18th, 2014 at at 4:19 am
CNN has a good update about the South Korean ferry disaster where South Korean officials are saying that the ferry apparently did not hit a submerged rock:
The ill-fated ferry Sewol disappears under the water off South Korea’s southwest coast on April 18, 2014. The ship sank completely out of sight early afternoon. Part of the keel of the ferry had been visible for days after it capsized on April 16, 2014. (Yonhap)
Part of the frustration stems from the conflicting information reported by officials.
In the hours after the sinking, several analysts speculated the ferry may have veered off course and struck an object. But the South Korean Oceans and Fisheries Ministry said Thursday that it had approved the boat’s intended route, and the actual course did not deviate significantly.
Yet Kim Soo Hyeon, the chief of South Korea’s Yellow Sea Maritime Police Agency, later said it appears the ship did deviate from its planned route but did not appear it hit a rock. [CNN]
You can read more at the link, but it has also been confirmed that the captain was not at the helm of the ship, but instead the third officer. If the ferry did not hit a rock than how else could it have sunk? According to Yonhap a sharp turn may have caused the ship to sink:
The exact cause of the accident has not been determined, but authorities have tentatively concluded that the ship was thrown off balance after making a severe turn.
Coast Guard officials have been questioning the ship’s captain and other crew members to determine what went wrong. They said they believe the abrupt change of direction caused the ship’s cargo to shift to one side, causing the vessel to begin to tilt over and eventually capsize. The loud thud that survivors said they heard could have been from the moving cargo, authorities said.
According to the map from the ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS), the Sewol slowed down considerably as it was making the turn. It showed that the ship had been traveling at around 17 to 18 knots before slowing to 5 to 6 knots. The ferry made an almost 90-degree turn to the right, the map also showed. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link, but the obvious question is did the ferry slow down and make the sharp turn because it was heading towards a rock? The article also says that one of the first people to abandon ship was the captain while his crew was busy telling the passengers to stay in their rooms.
In other news this is really jacked up who was sending these fake text messages:
Adding to the pain for families, police said texts and social media messages claiming to be from missing passengers turned out to be fake.
“We will investigate people sending out these messages,” said Lee Sung Yoon, head of the combined police and prosecution team.
He said authorities will go after those behind the hoaxes and will “punish them severely.” [CNN]
I feel horrible for the parents receiving such fake messages and hopefully authorities can track down who was sending them.
In further news Yonhap currently has the official death toll at 20 with 276 still missing. KBS has the death toll at 28 dead and 268 missing. Additionally of the missing 4 of them were Chinese nationals and the Chinese government is sending a team down to Jindo to assist. KBS is also reporting that divers have entered the ship for the first time, but had to quickly turn around due to their guideline snapping and the path being blocked by debris. There are also four heavy lift cranes that have arrived on site and a floating dock will soon arrive to pull up the ship. Considering how long it has been and the freezing temperatures it will be amazing if anyone inside the ship survives this tragedy.
By GI Korea
April 18th, 2014 at at 3:20 am
Via the Marmot’s Hole comes this news that the ROK military will purchase ten radars from Israel to detect North Korean drones:
A government source says Seoul plans to buy around ten RPS-42 tactical air surveillance radars to detect North Korean drones.
The source said Wednesday that the government will redirect funds from other strategic projects to spend 20 billion won on the radars and to boost other surveillance equipment.
The Army’s current TPS-830K radars cannot detect North Korea’s small-sized drones.
The source said the military plans to deploy the RPS-42 radars next year to key government facilities, including the presidential office, and to the western front.
The Israeli made radars are optimized to detect and track all types of aerial objects within a 30-kilometer radius. Each radar costs around 900 million won. [KBS Global]
Considering the increasing drone threat that Israel is facing from Hezbollah their radar technology to detect drones is probably cutting edge. This also is not the first Israeli radar system the Koreans have bought from Israel. They also bought the Green Pine radar that is used to detect incoming ballistic missiles from North Korea as well.
By GI Korea
April 17th, 2014 at at 7:35 pm
I wonder if this review will discuss the biggest problem with the UCMJ which is the politicization of it that is causing cases to go to trial with little or no evidence and treating defendants as guilty until proven innocent for sexual assault crimes:
The Pentagon is launching a “systemic” review of the entire military justice system that will look at how commanders convene courts-martial and impose nonjudicial punishments.
The 18-month review of the Uniform Code of Military Justice “will help ensure the continued effectiveness of our armed forces and the fair administration of justice for our service members,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
The aim of the review is to “provide both a step-back look at ways to improve how the UCMJ operates and a close technical scrub to address any discontinuity after decades of individual amendments,” according to the announcement.
The review comes at a time of increasing concern among Pentagon leaders about sexual assault specifically and broader misconduct across the force after years of war. [Army Times]
You can read more at the link.
By GI Korea
April 17th, 2014 at at 4:24 pm
By GI Korea
April 17th, 2014 at at 7:41 am
I really do not see what purpose reviewing the Kono Statement does politically for Prime Minister Abe other than to throw red meat at the Japanese right-wing who would vote for him regardless:
Kyodo News reports Tokyo plans to take final steps to verify the Kono statement this year during the regular session of the National Diet. The Kono statement acknowledges the Japanese military coerced Korean and other women into brothels during wartime and apologizes for doing so.
Quoting a Japanese government official, the daily said Tokyo is selecting legal, women’s rights and media experts to form a panel to verify the Kono statement. Kyodo said if the panel is formed it will begin working on verification soon. [KBS Global]
You can read more at the link, but what is disappointing about this is that Prime Minister Abe told President Park that the Kono Statement was going to stand.
By GI Korea
April 17th, 2014 at at 3:17 am
Who knows who this lady is?
2014 Korea Finder Standings:
1. Comfortable Chairs – 4
2. Bobby Ray – 3
3. Setnaffa – 1
3. Bob – 1
3. Coryah – 1
3. 2ID Doc – 1
3. Leon Laporte – 1
3. Smokes – 1
The person with the most points at the end of the year of the weekly Korea Finder contest will win a book or DVD of their choice from Amazon.com. Also note that if you have a picture you think would make for a great Korea Finder feel free to send it in to me.
By GI Korea
April 16th, 2014 at at 9:11 pm
Just about any servicemember in Afghanistan could of told you who the real enemy in the conflict is:
What if the United States has been waging the wrong war against the wrong enemy for the last 13 years in Afghanistan?
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall, who spent more than a decade covering Afghanistan since 2001, concludes just that in her new book, “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014.”
Gall told “On the Radar” that Pakistan – not Afghanistan – has been the United States’ real enemy.
“Instead of fighting a very grim and tough war which was very high in casualties on Afghans, as well as NATO and American soldiers, the problem wasn’t in the Afghan villages,” Gall said. “The source of the problem, the radicalization, the sponsoring of the insurgency, was all happening in Pakistan.”
Gall said she first had the realization that Pakistan was fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan “very soon” after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I went to Quetta and found Taliban resting up there and regrouping,” she said. “They had assistance, some of them talked about being forced and threatened and told to go in and fight the Americans … and when you’re there, on the ground, seeing every bombing, the suicide bombing had started, the insurgency that grew, and you investigate where it’s coming from, it kept leading back to Pakistan.”
Gall said that Pakistan’s leaders, and especially former President Pervez Musharraf, were “very clever” and tricked the United States into believing that Pakistan was an ally.
“I think the politicians, not all of them, but the diplomats … it took ages for them to understand that actually the persuasion wasn’t working; the engagement wasn’t bringing them on board; they were actually double dealing,” she said. “And now diplomats will tell you very plainly, ‘Yes, Musharraf was double dealing.’” [ABC News-Yahoo]
You can read more at the link, but Gall also says that the Pakistani ISI was hiding Osama Bin Laden and that they are currently hiding Al-Qadea’s current leader Zawahiri as well.