Conflicts & War

Seoul, Washington discuss deployment of US strategic assets to South Korea

Seoul, Apr 6 (EFE).- A delegation sent to Washington on behalf of the South Korea’s president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol discussed with the United States’ National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan the possible deployment of US strategic weapons in South Korea at a time marked by the escalation of tension in the region.

The leader of the delegation, Park Jin, said Wednesday at a press conference that both parties “had consultations on ways to enhance the joint defense posture of South Korea and the US and strengthen the US extended deterrence.”

“Deploying strategic assets is an important part of strengthening extended deterrence as I said just now. You may understand South Korea and the US discussed the issue today in that sense,” said Park, according to Yonhap news agency.

Strategic military assets are those capable of supporting and carrying out attacks with weapons such as nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers or bombers such as the B-2 or B-1.

In East Asia, these US assets are currently based in Japan and the island of Guam, and North Korea has consistently condemned their presence in the region, especially whenever they have been deployed to the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean Ministry of Defense has already sent a report to Yoon’s transition team in which it said that the deployment of strategic assets in South Korea in the face of growing tensions with North Korea would be discussed in the future.

“The two sides also exchanged views on the need to hold a US-South Korea summit at an early date since their two leaders remain determined to strengthen the South Korea-US alliance,” Park said.

North Korea, which remains totally isolated due to the pandemic and with no sign of opening up to dialogue soon, approved a weapons modernization plan in January 2021 that is behind the recent increase in projectile tests (a record 12 since the beginning of the year).

In addition to launching its first intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017 last week, to which the South responded by launching its own missiles, satellite images suggest the regime may soon test a submarine-launched ballistic missile and detonate an atomic weapon for the first time in five years. EFE


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