Combined Forces Command’s new No. 2 knows missile defense, Brooks says
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Army Gen. Vincent Brooks said Combined Forces Command will rely heavily on its new deputy commander’s missile-defense knowledge as tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula.
Gen. Kim Byeong-joo became CFC’s highest-ranking South Korean when he replaced Gen. Leem Ho-young during a ceremony Friday at Yongsan in Seoul. Kim’s new role includes leading CFC’s Ground Component Command.
“[Kim’s previous] service commanding the South Korean army missile command will be very useful as we develop advanced concepts for striking any threats to the republic,” said Brooks, who leads U.S. Forces Korea and U.N. Command in addition to CFC.
The change comes amid a major reshuffling of senior generals under the administration of new South Korean president Moon Jae-in that includes a South Korean air force general serving as Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman for the first time in 23 years.
Brooks praised Leem for modernizing combat operations on the peninsula by finding a smarter way to fight that will be “much more costly to the North Korean threat and less costly to the alliance.”
Brooks said he expects Kim to succeed in Leem’s footsteps and to continue to advance the U.S.-South Korean alliance.
“This is an armistice that requires protection and tending every day,” Brooks said.
Tensions have shot up on the peninsula after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July before unveiling a detailed plan to launch a salvo of missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam.
South Korea’s military warned on Thursday that the North would face “strong and resolute retaliation” if it attacks the South or its ally, the United States.