Korea, US to adopt Washington Declaration to strengthen extended deterrence

Korea, US to adopt Washington Declaration to strengthen extended deterrence
# 26 April 2023 14:52 (UTC +04:00)

Leaders of South Korea and the United States will adopt a declaration which includes measures to strengthen extended deterrence against any provocations from North Korea, following their summit on Wednesday, the presidential office said Tuesday, APA reports citing Koreahearld.

Yoon’s spokesperson Lee Do-woon told reporters that under the Washington Declaration, the two countries will announce the launch of a nuclear consultation group between South Korea and the US, a new mechanism that focuses on nuclear and strategic planning issues. It would facilitate "systematic operations" of information sharing and the movements of strategic assets of the two countries.

Lee echoed the White House's separate briefing on the declaration.

A senior administration official of the White House told reporters earlier in the day that the new plan will provide South Korea with additional insight into how the US approaches planning for major contingencies.

“We'll announce that we intend to take steps to make our deterrence more visible through the regular deployment of strategic assets, including a US nuclear ballistic submarine visit to South Korea, which has not happened since the early 1980s,” the official said, without providing any further details regarding the frequency of such visits.

The plan also includes strengthening joint training, simulating activities and integrating South Korea's conventional assets into the US' strategic planning.

The declaration will also reaffirm South Korea's commitment to its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, he said.

“I'll be crystal clear, there is no vision of returning the US tactical or any other kind of nuclear weapon to the Korean peninsula as there was in the Cold War,” the official said. “We believe that those efforts should be preserved even in the face of challenges from North Korea and elsewhere.”

The Washington Declaration will differ from NATO nuclear sharing, since the US does not deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula, unlike in Europe. NATO's nuclear sharing is a concept in NATO's policy of nuclear deterrence, which allows member countries without nuclear weapons of their own to participate in the planning for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO.

On his second day in Washington, President Yoon also stressed the importance of the ironclad alliance between South Korea and the US in various areas, such as the military, economy, technology and space.