The U.S. and South Korea are expected to hold drills to deal with nuclear threats on the table but have not announced a specific time.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on January 20 that the United States and South Korea “will hold field exercises based on an increasingly complex scenario, focusing on nuclear threats on the peninsula. North Korea”. The timing of the drill has not been announced.
In response to “persistent threats,” Mr. Austin highlighted a series of security efforts from U.S. allies, such as expanding the scope and scale of joint exercises and incorporating live-fire operations.
Mr. Austin also mentioned the importance of strengthening trilateral cooperation between the U.S., South Korea, and Japan, including ballistic missile defense and anti-submarine warfare exercises.
Minister Austin also warned that any party challenging South Korea or the United States would challenge the alliance while reaffirming the “iron American security commitment” to the Asian ally.
“This commitment includes U.S. conventional, nuclear, and missile defense capabilities, as well as the presence of 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea,” Austin said.
The U.S. sent to South Korea “some of our most capable platforms,” such as the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters. Minister Austin said this is an important sign of America’s commitment to its ally.
“Rotational deployment of advanced assets to South Korea shows that we are ready to deal with any contingencies. It is also a clear reminder of the unwavering commitment of the United States to South Korea’s security.” Mr. Austin said.
Austin’s third visit to South Korea as Defense Minister aims to enhance cooperation, discuss security challenges, and “reaffirm the U.S. commitment to South Korea” Nation on Extended Deterrence.
The visit occurred in the context of escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula when the sides held a series of military activities. The United States, South Korea, and Japan have recently held large-scale military exercises. North Korea responded by repeatedly testing new weapons, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently called for an “exponential increase” in his nuclear arsenal. Last year, Kim Jong-un declared that North Korea has become a nuclear state and cannot be reversed.