MILITARY

US, South Korea agree to delay transfer of wartime control, with no end date set

  • National anthems are played as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, stands with Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo as he arrives for an honor cordon at the Pentagon, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    National anthems are played as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, stands with Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo as he arrives for an honor cordon at the Pentagon, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo as he arrives for an honor cordon, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo as he arrives for an honor cordon, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  (The Associated Press)

  • National anthems are played as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, stands with Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo during an honor cordon for the defense minister, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    National anthems are played as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, stands with Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo during an honor cordon for the defense minister, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  (The Associated Press)

The United States has agreed to maintain wartime control of South Korean troops in the event of an attack by North Korea for the foreseeable future, delaying the transfer of authority to Seoul that had been scheduled for 2015.

The agreement has been discussed for more than a year and comes at the request of Seoul. There is no longer a deadline for the transfer.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement Thursday alongside South Korea Defense Minister Han Min Koo at the Pentagon.

Hagel, in a visit to South Korea last October, said the timing of the transfer would be based on military conditions.

The U.S. has tried for years to wean South Korea off its dependence on the American military by setting a target date for the transfer.