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U.S.-South Korean Military Alliance Goes Nuclear

April 27, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—President Joe Biden welcomed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to the White House yesterday. The main thrust of their discussion was the “integration” of U.S. nuclear weapons more tightly into the U.S.-South Korea military alliance, under the rubric of “extended deterrence,” to include the establishment of a U.S.-Republic of Korea Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG). “The Alliance commits to engage in deeper, cooperative decision-making on nuclear deterrence, including through enhanced dialogue and information sharing regarding growing nuclear threats to the R.O.K. and the region,” read the U.S.-R.O.K. Joint Declaration issued after the meeting. “The two Presidents announced the establishment of a new Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) to strengthen extended deterrence, discuss nuclear and strategic planning, and manage the threat to the nonproliferation regime posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.).”

The two Presidents agreed “that any nuclear attack by the D.P.R.K. against the R.O.K. will be met with a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response. President Biden highlighted that the U.S. commitment to extended deterrence to the R.O.K. is backed by the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear.” That backing will be made visible in the form of U.S. nuclear, ballistic missile submarines making port calls in South Korea.

“Furthermore, the United States and R.O.K. will strengthen standing bodies for consultations on extended deterrence, including the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group, to better prepare the Alliance to defend against potential attacks and nuclear use and conduct simulations to inform joint planning efforts,”

the statement continues.

“President Yoon affirmed that the R.O.K. will apply the full range of its capabilities to the Alliance’s combined defense posture. This includes working in lockstep with the United States to closely connect the capabilities and planning activities of the new R.O.K. Strategic Command and the U.S.-R.O.K. Combined Forces Command.”

When asked about this during the joint press conference with Biden, Yoon said he couldn’t get into specifics as to how this would work. “But, however, under the nuclear umbrella, our extended deterrence was a lot lower,” he said. “So, right now it’s an unprecedented expansion and strengthening of the extended deterrence strategy under the Washington Declaration, which will create the NCG.”

Biden explained: “Look, a nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partisans—partners—is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime, were it to take such an action. And it’s about strengthening deterrence in response to the DPRK’s escalatory behavior and to deal in complete consultation.”

The bottom line, Biden said, is this: “There’s even closer cooperation, closer consultation. And—and we’re not going to be stationing nuclear weapons on—on the Peninsula, but we will have visits to—port visits of nuclear submarines and things like that. We are not walking away from that.”

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