Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Rumsfeld hands wartime control to South Korea
SKorea Defense Minister Offers to Resign
By JAE-SOON CHANG , 10.24.2006, 07:59 AM
South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday that he has offered to resign, just days after he sealed a deal with the United States for Seoul to regain full wartime control of South Korean forces.
Conservatives have assailed Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung for making the deal in light of the increased regional tension following North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test.
However it was not clear Yoon's decision was linked to the criticism.
Yoon said he told President Roh Moo-hyun on Monday of his intention to step down. The presidential office declined to say whether the president planned to accept his resignation.
"I told the president that I would like to take a rest," Yoon told reporters, according to his office.
Yoon met last week with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and agreed that Seoul will retake full wartime operational control of Korean forces from the United States sometime between 2009 and 2012.