South Korea, US to hold nuclear drills amid growing threats from North

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size

South Korea and the United States will stage tabletop exercises in Washington next week to improve operations of American nuclear assets as part of efforts to better counter North Korea’s threats, Seoul’s defense ministry said on Friday.

Nuclear-armed North Korea fired an unprecedented number of missiles last year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could strike anywhere in the United States, while resuming preparations for its first nuclear test since 2017.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The drills, called the Deterrence Strategy Committee Tabletop Exercise, are scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Pentagon and will involve senior defense policymakers from both sides, the ministry said.

It would be their first such exercises since the two countries agreed last year to hold them annually, as Seoul seeks to bolster confidence in American extended deterrence - its military capability, especially nuclear forces, to deter attacks on its allies.

The South Korean delegation will be led by Deputy Defense Minister Heo Tae-keun; the US team will be led by Siddharth Mohandas, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, and Richard Johnson, deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and countering weapons of mass destruction policy.

“With a focus on North Korea’s nuclear threats, both sides will have in-depth discussions on various measures to strengthen US extended deterrence, including information sharing and consultation procedures,” the ministry said in a statement.

On Feb. 23, the officials will visit the Kings Bay naval base in Georgia that houses key nuclear submarines.

The allies have said they were working to boost joint nuclear planning and implementation as well as information sharing.

In May, both sides’ militaries will stage their own tabletop exercises for the first time, which will be “far more concrete and substantive” than the upcoming programmes.

Read more:

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un lauds army ahead of expected military parade

North Korea pledges ‘expanded, intensified’ military drills

Top Content Trending