South Korea and the United States are discussing launching a tabletop exercise and engaging in joint planning to counter North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats, officials from both sides said on Tuesday, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The plan came amid South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s push to strengthen American extended deterrence – the U.S. military capability, especially its nuclear forces, to deter attacks on its allies – since taking office in May, in the face of evolving North Korean threats.
In a newspaper interview released on Monday, Yoon said the allies are discussing joint nuclear planning and exercises and that would help clear doubts about the extended deterrence, with its existing concept “falling short of convincing” South Koreans.
“In order to respond to the North Korean nuclear weapons, the two countries are discussing ways to share information on the operation of U.S.-owned nuclear assets, and joint planning and execution of them accordingly,” Yoon’s press secretary, Kim Eun-hye, said in a statement.
The two leaders “tasked their teams to plan for an effective, a coordinated response to a range of scenarios, including nuclear use by North Korea, and so that is what the teams are working on,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.
A senior U.S. administration official elaborated, adding that both sides are looking at enhanced information-sharing, joint contingency planning and an eventual tabletop exercise following a request from their presidents after a meeting in Cambodia in November to explore ways to address North Korea’s threats.
Source: TREND News Agency