The Round Table at Seoul: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, after his brief China foray, descended upon South Korea to hold talks on the “strong, but evolving” alliance between the US and South Korea. South Korean defense officials have been making overtures to the US that they want to take have more leadership responsibility in defending their country. Should there be a war, Seoul would like to have operational control of its own forces rather than leaving it with the American-led Combined Forces Command. Rumsfeld told reporters on his way to China that it was time for South Korea to “assume a larger role and responsibility.” Here is the joint communiqué issued after the defense meeting.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.