Created: 10/18/1996

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SoulhShuffle Impart on US Ties Limited

President Kim Yong-sam yesterday replaced the Defense Minister and made changes in senior military ranks in ihe face of broad domestic criticism of the armed forces' failure to detect the Nonh Korean submarine that ran aground last month andapture all the infiltrators from it.

Kim Tong-ehin gained the Defense portfolio despite public criticism of his previous performance as Joint Chiefs of Staffretentionenior position rcttects his close personal lies to President Kim,

Other changes include promoting Army Chief of Staff Yun Yong-namCS Chairman andew deputy chief of the Combined US-South Korean Forces Command as well as commanders of all three armies.

The shuffle does not appear likely lo cause short-term shifts in South Korea's military ties to the US,ives Kim Tong-chin the opportunity over the longer term toore independent course that could reflect his concerns about the alliance. As JCS Chairman, he publicly welcomed US military cooperation with hiscountryj

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