OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:36 PM – Wednesday, April 26, 2023
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the White House on Wednesday in order to discuss deterrence plans with President Joe Biden against the increasing North Korean nuclear threat.
During the visit, Biden praised the alliance between the two nations calling it an “ironclad” alliance.
“The alliance formed in war and has flourished in peace,” Biden said. “Our mutual defense treaty is iron clad and that includes our commitment to extend a deterrence – and that includes the nuclear threat, the nuclear deterrent. They’re particularly important in the face of DPRK’s increased threats and the blatant violation of U.S. sanctions.”
The months of discussions and negotiations between officials from both nations resulted in a plan that was unveiled by Biden on Wednesday.
The new deterrence plan, named the “Washington Declaration” included plans to dock a United States nuclear-armed submarine in South Korea for the first time in over 40 years and a warning from the president.
“A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable,” Biden said. “and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action.”
Yoon announced that the new agreement also includes plans for “bilateral presidential consultations in the event of an attack by North Korea, the establishment of a nuclear consultative group, and improved sharing of information on nuclear and strategic weapons operations plans.”
“Sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula does not happen automatically,” the South Korean President said.
The U.S. and South Korea will also reportedly coordinate more deeply on their nuclear response strategy in case of a nuclear attack by the North against the South. However, operational control will remain strictly in U.S. control.
Earlier in 2023, the South Korean President had said that his country was weighing either starting its own nuclear weapons program or requesting that the U.S. redeploy them on the Korean Peninsula.
In 1991, the U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. The following year, North and South Korea signed a declaration pledging that they would not “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.”
“We are not going to be stationing nuclear weapons on the peninsula,” Biden emphasized.
The agreement also calls for the strengthening of the joint training between the two countries, and to better integrate the South Korean Military assets into the joint strategic deterrence effort. As part of the agreement South Korea also agreed to reaffirm its commitment to the Nuclear and Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Biden stressed the importance of the coordination between the two nations saying that they are committed to “doubling down on our cooperation as allies.” However, Biden also said that the U.S. will remain open to peace talks with the North without preconditions.
The visit by the South Korean President comes at the 70-year anniversary of the alliance between the two countries which began at the end of the Korean war.
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