Can We Come to an Agreement?

Richard Lawless, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs who told reporters in Washington Tuesday that the Bush Administration wants South Korea to pay more for defense of the peninsula, also put a timeline on reaching an agreement about shift of wartime control. Lawless says he expects US and South Korean officials to come to produce a final plan before the upcoming US-Korean Security Consultative Meeting, set to start Oct. 20. Lawless maintained that the key holdup is the date for the transfer of control—Washington wants to transfer power in 2009 but Seoul wants to wait until 2012.