(profile) Defense chief’s choice has expertise in South Korea-US military alliance
SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) — Lee Jong-sup, a retired lieutenant general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), is an expert in military policy and strategy, specializing in issues military alliance between South Korea and the United States.
A graduate of the Korea Military Academy, Lee previously served as vice chief of management staff at the 1st Army Command and vice chief of the policy and planning division of the Ministry of Defense.
He then served as Chief of the Army’s 2nd Division in 2013 and Vice Chairman of the JCS from 2017 to 2018. He joined President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s Transition Committee as a member of its Sub-Committee of diplomacy and security.
Lee is considered well-versed in issues related to the military relationship between South Korea and the United States, having experience in work related to the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) from Washington to Seoul. He holds a Ph.D. on the South Korea-US Alliance from Tennessee State University.
During and after the elections, Yoon repeatedly stressed the need to strengthen the alliance between South Korea and the United States and joint efforts to resolve various issues, including the North Korean standoff.