New South Korean government comments on prospect of bringing back US nukes — Analysis
A group of advisers to Seoul’s president-elect visited the US to discuss the redeployment of nuclear bombers and subs, Reuters says
A group of advisers to South Korea’s president-elect, Yoon Suk-yeol, have met US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a bid to strengthen “deterrence”Secure an increased US presence in the Korean Peninsula. According to Reuters, this would mean the deployment of bombers and nuclear submarines, citing members of the delegation.
“Deploying the strategic assets is an important element of reinforcing the extended deterrence, and the issue naturally came up during the discussions,”Park Jin was a South Korean lawmaker and led the delegation to Washington.
Park added that the two sides explored options for boosting America’s extended nuclear deterrence and coordinating efforts against the threat posed by North Korea. A meeting was also planned between Yoon, the US President Joe Biden and South Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.
Yoon, who is conservative politician and ex-prosecutor general, won the presidential election on March 9. He will be sworn to office May 10. His election agenda included the redeployment to the Peninsula of US-capable nuclear-capable subs and bombers. He also promised that he would. “respond firmly”Pyongyang’s threats
According to a poll conducted in South Korea, 70% support Seoul’s development of its own nuclear capability. The country’s conservatives have called for either the redeployment of US nukes or a NATO-style arrangement that would see South Koreans being trained to use nuclear arms in case of a conflict.
Washington previously voiced doubt about the possibility of such an arrangement. “All I can say is, US policy would not support that,”In September 2021, Mark Lambert, US assistant secretary of State for Japan and Korea said that.
When asked by the White House about the South Korean delegation’s talks, the official said nothing. “discussed generally”US defense commitments US had once deployed its tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea. However, they withdrew their deployment in the 1990s.
Yoon could also be reversing a policy of Moon Jae-in, Yoon’s liberal predecessor. To reduce tensions between Pyongyang and the US, Yoon canceled regular joint drills. The exercises were focused mainly on computer simulations, and did not involve bombers or carriers. North Korea views the drills long-term as a preparation for possible war.
Yoon wants to be a lawyer. “normalize”Joint exercises once again. South Korean media reports that there could be nuclear bombers at the forthcoming spring exercises, which will take place for the fifth time in five year. “We agreed that what’s most important is to maintain deterrence so that we can strongly respond to any possible North Korean provocations,” Park said, following the South Korean delegation’s talks in Washington.
This development is occurring amid an increase in tensions around the peninsula. Pyongyang claimed that in March it tested another intercontinental ballistic weapon. The test was followed by a heated verbal exchange between the two nations’ officials, in which Seoul touted its ability to swiftly strike North Korea and Pyongyang warned that South Korea would suffer a “terrible disaster” if it violated an inch of North Korea’s territory.
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