SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday that he has offered to resign, just days after he sealed a deal with the United States for Seoul to regain full wartime control of South Korean forces.
However it was not clear Yoon's decision was linked to the criticism.
Yoon said he told President Roh Moo-hyun on Monday of his intention to step down. The presidential office declined to say whether the president planned to accept his resignation.
"I told the president that I would like to take a rest," Yoon told reporters, according to his office.
Control now is exercised by American officers heading a joint headquarters system.
The Washington agreement drew fire from conservative groups and the opposition Grand National Party, which called the move a "security failure" and demanded Yoon's resignation.
His critics, including some of the country's former defense ministers, claim the transfer is premature and would undermine deterrence against North Korea.
Roh, who has asserted a foreign policy less dependent on Washington, has remained adamant, contending that leaving the United States in control is a slight to national sovereignty.