2012 Could Be an Interesting Year for Korea

January 25, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The commander of the U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group Eleven sees considerable dynamism in the Korean peninsula for the coming calendar year. Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao, USN, told a West 2012 panel audience that the changing environment in both the North and the South could portend substantial changes in the geopolitical picture there. The Navy admiral said that Korea is ground centric, with both sides having powerful armies. The South is willing to do "anything and everything" to reunify, either through a civil war in the North or if newly crowned leader Kim Jong Un opens up the North to the South. And, beginning in 2015, the supported command will shift from U.S. forces to the Republic of Korea (ROK). Adm. Gumataotao related that ROK forces have supported the U.S. presence since the cease-fire in 1953, but that will reverse in three years. Already complicated command and control (C2) lines will be even more important then, he noted.

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