South Korea, US Review Joint Guidelines Against North Korean Nuclear Threats

South Korea and the United States have reviewed their mutual guidelines on handling possible nuclear attacks by North Korea. This review, through the bilateral NCG, represents an important milestone in improving deterrence against the North’s growing nuclear threats.

Started in the Washington Declaration filed by Presidents Yoon Suk Yeol and Joe Biden in April 2023, NCG is designed to reinforce extended deterrence credibility, which is the US commitment to use all its military capabilities, including nuclear weapons, for the defense of its allies.

The NCG convened on June 10th in Seoul to finalize joint guidelines, which include principles and procedures for consultations during a crisis situation involving North Korea’s nuclear program. That document will serve as a good basis for improving extended deterrence through South Korean-US integration.

Guidelines are used to address a variety of key subjects, such as information sharing, strategic messaging, joint planning, and executing with respect to nuclear deterrence. In addition, the two sides discussed making US strategic assets more visible inside and outside South Korea by conducting joint nuclear exercises.

The review comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to North Korea‘s continued provocative acts, such as the launches of trash-carrying balloons across the border and attempts to disrupt GPS signals around the South’s northwestern border islands. As a response, last week Seoul fully suspended the inter-Korean tension reduction pact signed in 2018, and Sunday saw anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcast via frontline loudspeakers for the first time in six years.

However, efforts by the NCG aim at strengthening the alliance’s deterrent capabilities and responsiveness against missile and atomic threats coming from the DPRK. The next step is to improve joint guidelines to create an integrated South Korea-USA unified extended deterrence system.

This year’s final session of NCG will take place in Washington, DC. The Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise is going on air next month; moreover, Camp Casey will host a high-level tabletop exercise supporting these discussions.

The allies’ review of joint guidelines represents a significant step forward in countering the North’s evolving nuclear threats. It shows their commitment to strengthening the alliance and effectively responding to any possible nuclear attack.

Key Points

This is after South Korea and the US concluded reviewing their cooperative policies for reacting to a probable nuclear assault by North Korea.

The principles and procedures for consultations during a crisis situation regarding North Korea’s nuclear program are outlined in these guidelines.

This review, through the bilateral Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG), marks an important advancement in how to prevent an increase in the threat of a nuclear North from its earlier approach.

NCG aims to improve the credibility of extended deterrence by the US, which means using all of its military resources, including atomic bombs, to protect its partners.

For continued improvement and further development of the joint guidelines, it is planned that both parties will result in the establishment of a unified South Korea-U.S. extended deterrence system.

The forthcoming NCG will be held in Washington near year’s end.

News Source: asianews

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