South Korea, US plan nuclear tabletop drills to deter North Korea

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South Korea and the United States will hold tabletop exercises next month involving the American extended deterrence effort as the allies move to better counter the North’s nuclear threats, South Korea’s defense minister said on Wednesday.

North Korea launched an unprecedented number of missiles last year, while US officials have warned it could be preparing for its first test of a nuclear device since 2017.

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Officials in both capitals said they were in talks to improve joint nuclear planning and launch tabletop exercises, but the timing had not yet been finalized.

“The two countries will hold tabletop exercises in February under the scenario of North Korea’s nuclear attacks,” South Korean defense minister Lee Jong-sup told a news conference after a New Year policy briefing for President Yoon Suk Yeol.

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