April 18, 2024

South Korea-US bilateral consultation group convenes in response to North Korea’s nuclear threats

A bilateral consultative group of South Korean and US officials met Tuesday in Seoul to discuss strengthening their nation’s deterrence capabilities against emerging North Korean nuclear threats.

The Nuclear Advisory Group was formed as part of agreements made by Presidents Joe Biden and Yoon Suk Yeol when they met in April.

Seoul officials say the body is tasked with sharing information on nuclear and strategic weapons operational plans and discussing joint operations. The US will retain operational control over US nuclear weapons, and Washington officials say the creation of the group and other steps announced in April were meant to ease South Korea’s concerns about North Korean provocations while keeping Seoul from continuing its nuclear program own.

The group’s inaugural meeting “will be an important starting point for establishing a powerful and effective extended deterrence between Korea and the US,” Yoon said during a televised meeting of the Cabinet Council, referring to the US security commitment to the full capabilities of the US, including nuclear, will be used to defend. his allies.

Yoon said the allies will make significant efforts to resolve North Korea’s nuclear threats based on “the upgraded Korea-US alliance with a new, nuclear-based paradigm.”

Yoon visited a conference room to meet with South Korean and US officials at the group’s inaugural meeting at the president’s office in Seoul. Yoon told them that both countries must strengthen their deterrence capabilities so that North Korea would not be tempted to consider using nuclear weapons, according to Yoon’s office.

Earlier, Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, told reporters on Monday that the goal of the meeting was to begin implementing the Biden-Yoon declaration in April, “which reaffirms our expanded joint deterrence in the region.”

Kurt Campbell and South Korea’s deputy director of national security, Kim Tae-hyo, co-chaired the meeting.

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have taken on new urgency after it openly threatened to use nuclear weapons in potential conflicts with its rivals and has conducted around 100 missile tests since the beginning of last year.

Last week, North Korea conducted a second test flight of a more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, designed to hit the US mainland. After witnessing that launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to with his country’s nuclear fighting capability.

During their April summit in Washington, Yoon and Biden also agreed to periodically dock a US nuclear-armed submarine in South Korea and increase joint training exercises. Biden also said that any nuclear attack by North Korea on the US or its allies would result in “the end of whatever regime” “that such an action is taken”.

North Korea responded that these measures created the hostility of the allies towards North Korea. He threatened to further strengthen his nuclear escalation doctrine in protest.

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