October 3, 2013
South Korea’s armed forces have a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Adm. Chie Yoonhee, the former chief of naval operations, is President Park Gyuen-hye’s surprising nominee, the first who isn’t a member of the army. Given the North Korean ground forces deployed near the DMZ, the army has long been a significant political force, and the navy has always been regarded as lacking the ability to conduct “Joint” and “Combined” military operations on the Korean Peninsula. Despite strong lobbying by the army, Park has given strong support to Choi, and it is to be hoped that a rotational system among the three services will now be established.