In the News – Cartwright: Neighbors must pressure N. Korea

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In the News – Cartwright: Neighbors must pressure N. Korea

By Marcus Weisgerber – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jun 27, 2012 11:56:58 EDT

The United States should take a back seat to China and South Korea when it comes to applying pressure on North Korea, according to an influential, retired Marine Corps general.

“We could probably do a substantial amount of solving the problems of North Korea if we would let South Korea and China work the problem,” said retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who retired last year as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Cartwright’s comments came Tuesday during a presentation at an event sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

“Once you start to introduce commerce, risk equations change substantially,” he said, noting both China and South Korea have built roads and rail lines up to the North Korean border.

“But as long as we’re there, it looks like a wartime footing. We’ve just got to think our way through how to do this,” he said.

The U.S. has about 28,000 troops based on the Korean Peninsula.

Cartwright, who since his retirement has been outspoken on defense issues such as nuclear deterrence and cybersecurity, said the United States should partner with China to make sure nations in the region “are taken care of, that they have access to goods, that they can move their goods.”

“We’re better off solving these problems if we do so with China,” he said.

Cartwright said there needs to be an authoritative venue that could address nations’ claims of natural resources under the South China Sea.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – Defense reform bills fail to pass in parliament

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In the News – Defense reform bills fail to pass in parliament

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) — A South Korean parliamentary committee dealing with national defense failed Friday to pass a set of reform bills aimed at bolstering military readiness against North Korean provocations, as the meeting lacked a quorum.

Only six of the minimum nine lawmakers needed to reach a quorum attended the meeting of the National Defense Committee, making it unlikely the bills will pass in the outgoing National Assembly before its term ends next month. The committee has 17 members.

The reform plans centered on making the military’s command structure more efficient, and giving the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff more power to control the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Reforming the military has been one of the government’s top policy goals, especially since North Korea’s two deadly attacks on the South in 2010.

“(We) tried to pass urgent bills such as those related to defense reforms during our final meeting today, but it is regrettable that the meeting could not proceed smoothly due to the aftereffects of the April 11 parliamentary elections,” said Rep. Won Yoo-chul of the ruling Saenuri Pary, who chairs the committee.

The defense reform bills had been pending in parliament for 11 months mainly due to fierce opposition from opposition parties over their possible destabilizing effects.

 

Original article can be found here.