On March 14, Robert Abrams, commander of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance, said in an interview with Yonhap News: “I have no problems with the September 19th inter-Korean military agreement.” During his first interview after his appointment, he directly denied the conservatives’ claim that the U.S. forces in Korea had complaints about the military agreement. When he was told about concerns indicating the U.S.-ROK defense was weakening because of the removal and replacement of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle with another drill, he said firmly, “I don’t agree.” He also stated that the people expressing those concerns are not “experts.” He took a firm stance during the interview that dismissed many of the doubts about the Korean-U.S. alliance.
Abram’s interview remarks are direct enough to leave no room for interpretation: the U.S. military is in sync with South Korea on the military agreement, and there is no problem with the U.S.-ROK defense. He also expounded on the claim he made on the 12 that “the status of the United States Forces Korea will be different if a peace treaty is signed.” He said, “the context of the remark was poorly stated” and that “the status of the USFK is a decision by the U.S.-ROK alliance and has nothing to do with a peace treaty.” The media's interpretation and the politicians who took this claim to suggest a rift in the U.S.-ROK alliance should apologize. The statement by Commander Abrams that he will “fully support the execution of inter-Korean military agreement” is critical, as it suggests that as a U.N. commander who has the authority to transport goods between the two Koreas, he will also support the railroad connections. I support this statement very much.
The claim about a rift in the U.S.-ROK alliance has proven to be baseless. Abrams is from a prominent family and known to be a strong, firm figure, but he does not represent the official position of the Korean government, and his opinions are the U.S.’s official response. The conservatives should not squabble about whether the inter-Korean military agreement has hurt or helped North Korea. However, Hwang Kyo-ahn, the party leader of the Liberty Korea Party, said “the national security is falling, and the U.S.-ROL alliance has been seriously damaged by the government’s blind faith. There is nothing more dangerous in national security than claiming something other than the truth. Sound criticism should be considered, but false political claims should be denounced. I hope that I don’t hear that “the U.S. has informally announced its dissatisfaction about the military agreement.” I expect the military agreement under the U.N. forces will be executed properly like Commander Abrams said.