South Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it is talking with the U.S. regarding nuclear weapons management as North Korean continues its threats.
The report appears to contradict President Joe Biden who recently denied that the two nations were discussing nuclear efforts.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 3, 2023
"Yoon said that while the U.S. nuclear weapons belong to the U.S., planning, intel-sharing and exercises involving them must be jointly conducted with South Korea. He said he finds it difficult to assure his people of a security guarantee with the current levels of U.S. security commitment," the New York Post reported.
"South Korea has no nuclear weapons and is under the protection of a U.S.' nuclear umbrella,' which guarantees a devastating American response in the event of an attack on its ally. But some experts question the effectiveness of such a security commitment, saying the decision to use U.S. nuclear weapons lies with the U.S. president," it added.
South Korea’s President is pushing for joint planning & training involving U.S. nuclear assets and said that the U.S. responded positively about the idea. https://t.co/8C757wf2tZ
— Liz Friden (@Liz_Friden) January 3, 2023
"Some experts say South Korea's statement on the discussion is likely largely based on an agreement between their defense chiefs in November to conduct table-top exercises, usually computer simulations, annually and further strengthen the alliance's information sharing, joint planning and execution," the Associated Press reported.
"In November, they also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to providing extended deterrence, a reference to a U.S. promise to use full U.S. capabilities, including nuclear, to protect its allies," it added.
South Korea has no nuclear weapons of its own. Instead, the nation serves under the umbrella of protection of U.S. guarantees to protect the country if it faces a nuclear attack from the north.
Last year, North Korea launched over six dozen missiles capable of reaching South Korea, Japan and the U.S., leading to growing concerns over Kim Jong Un's plans.
Any coordinated efforts between the U.S. and South Korea could further escalate tensions with North Korea, a reason that could be leading Biden to downplay recent discussions.
Regardless, the fact that nuclear weapon concerns are under consideration is alarming by itself, though a necessary safeguard in response to North Korea's ongoing actions.
Source: New York Post