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Thursday, September 14, 2006


Will U.S. troops ever withdraw...from South Korea?

For nearly a year I've been pointing out that U.S. troops are still in South Korea, and still in control of the joint forces, 56 years after the start of the Korean War. Don't worry though. The U.S. is thinking about transferring control to the Koreans. If you call this "thinking":
"PRESIDENT BUSH: He asked about operational control, and the date -- the appropriate date of operational control. My message to the Korean people is that the United States is committed to the security of the Korean Peninsula. Decisions about the placement of our troops and the size of our troops will be made in consultation with the South Korean government. We will work in a consultative way at the appropriate level of government to come up with an appropriate date.

"I agree with the President that the issue should not become a political issue. I have talked to our Secretary of Defense about making sure that the issue is done in a consultative way and at the appropriate level of government, and that's how we will end up deciding the appropriate transfer of operational authority."
And the subjects of the Emperor are behaving as they should. Here's what followed that statement:
PRESIDENT ROH: (As translated.) Yes, that was a very good answer. Thank you, Mr. President. (Laughter.)
I admit I am puzzled by that "Laughter" at the end. Was the assembled press laughing because they realized that Bush had said exactly nothing? Or were they laughing at the obsequious President Roh? I'm not sure.

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