The White House said the United States and South Korea are planning an effective coordinated response in the event of a North Korean use of nuclear weapons.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden have “assigned their teams to plan an effective, coordinated response in multiple scenarios, including North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons.” person,” a White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman said today.
The NSC spoke after the two countries’ leaders gave mixed signals on how the alliance would respond to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
President Biden on January 2 replied “no” when asked about the possibility of a joint nuclear exercise by the U.S. and South Korea, in contrast to comments from his counterpart Yoon.
The NSC spokesman explained that the joint exercise was not an option because South Korea did not have nuclear weapons.
“The United States remains fully committed to the alliance… and provides extended deterrence through the entire spectrum of U.S. defense capabilities,” the spokesman said.
Yoon said on January 2 that Soul and Washington were discussing holding joint nuclear drills to counter threats from Pyongyang. He said that the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” and “expanded deterrence” were no longer enough to reassure the South Korean people in the context of increasing threats from North Korea.
The military activities of the parties have recently escalated the situation on the Korean peninsula.
North Korean media reported on January 1 that leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the “exponential” speed of production to mass-produce tactical nuclear weapons, ordering the defense industry to build a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles to deal with hostility from the U.S. and South Korea.
President Yoon said on January 1 that North Korea would continue to make provocations, asking the South Korean military to be ready to retaliate against any moves of the enemy. The Pentagon also warned of a strong response if North Korea used nuclear weapons.