Seoul, Sep 29 (EFE) .- United States Vice President Kamala Harris reaffirmed Thursday in a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Washington’s commitment to maintain the so-called “extended deterrence” to defend Seoul against North Korean weapons advances.
“I am here to reinforce the power of our alliance and strengthen our joint work,” Harris said at the beginning of the meeting in Seoul.
“The alliance between (South Korea) and the US is evolving beyond the Korean peninsula into a global alliance and is expanding from a military alliance to an economic and technological one,” Yoon said.
“The vice president reaffirmed the US’ extended deterrent commitment to (South Korea), backed by the full range of US defense capabilities,” said a statement Harris’ office released after the meeting. She is scheduled to visit the demilitarized border with North Korea on Thursday.
The so-called “extended deterrence” was a promise made in May to Yoon by US President Joe Biden, who pledged to deploy Pentagon strategic assets on the Korean peninsula in a “coordinated manner and when necessary” based on actions from Pyongyang.
Yoon and Harris “condemned the provocative nuclear rhetoric and ballistic missile launches by (North Korea), which are a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and discussed our response to potential future provocations, including through trilateral cooperation with Japan.”
US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan will carry out joint maneuvers Friday with South Korean and Japanese naval forces in the Sea of Japan.
These exercises, which seek to rehearse anti-submarine operations, come a day after Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan after firing another over the weekend, all in apparent response to the presence of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in the region.
The last time the USS Ronald Reagan traveled to the peninsula to carry out joint maneuvers was in September 2017, in the midst of an escalation of tension after the last North Korean nuclear test to date.
Seoul, Tokyo and Washington now seek to send a message of strength in the conviction that the regime, which has rejected all offers of dialogue in the last three years and has opted for a weapons modernization plan, is ready to carry out a new atomic test. EFE