A series of security meetings are lined up this week between South Korea and the U.S. that could touch upon some heavy defense issues like the transfer of wartime operational control, termination of GSOMIA, and Seoul-Washington defense cost-sharing.
First up is the Military Committee Meeting, on Thursday.
Attended by the chairmen of Joint Chiefs of Staff from both sides, the main talking point is to be Seoul retaking wartime operational control from Washington.
The two allies have already conducted joint training to test Seoul's initial operational capability for the envisioned transfer.
On Friday, the South Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting is to take place, attended by the defense chiefs.
The two sides are to discuss the recent security situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula and a few alliance issues, like sharing the cost of stationing U.S. troops in South Korea.
Washington has reportedly demanded that Seoul pay nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars for next year which is over five times what Seoul is paying right now.
And just as important, trilateral security cooperation between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan is to be discussed.
That discussion will certainly touch on GSOMIA, the bilateral intel-sharing pact between South Korea and Japan, that's to automatically expire next Saturday.
Seoul decided to terminate it in August, after Japan adopted export curbs against South Korea, citing a breach of trust in security issues.
The Pentagon has said the U.S. wants to see the GSOMIA issue resolved, meaning Seoul should keep the deal.
Discussions on GSOMIA will continue on afterwards.
After holding the Security Consultative Meeting, both defense chiefs are flying to Thailand for ASEAN Defense Minister's Meeting.
Here, the military chiefs of South Korea, the U.S., and Japan are to sit down for trilateral talks and a bilateral meeting between Seoul and Tokyo could also happen.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.