Biden and South Korea’s Yoon announce a new nuclear weapons deal

US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have reached a new agreement to deploy US nuclear submarines to South Korea. The agreement is an attempt by the United States to show support for South Korea and help deter attacks from neighboring North Korea. In return, South Korea agreed not to pursue a nuclear weapons program. 

Biden said the agreement, known as the Washington Declaration, would strengthen cooperation between the United States and South Korea. He spoke at a news conference on Wednesday with Yoon, who is in Washington this week to speak on a range of issues, including the war in Ukraine, climate change, cyber cooperation and nuclear energy.

Mr Yoon said the Washington Declaration the centrepiece of this week`s state visit marked an “unprecedented” step to enhance extended deterrence, a commitment from the US to deter attacks and protect US allies using its military power, including nuclear weapons. The declaration comes amid rising concerns about nuclear threats from North Korea as the country carries out a record number of ballistic missile tests. “It’s about strengthening deterrence in response to the DPRK’s North Korea’s escalatory behavior,”

Mr Biden said. The new agreement is a result of negotiations that took place over the course of several months, senior administration officials told reporters this week. Under the deal, the US will aim to take steps to “make its deterrence more visible through the regular deployment of strategic assets, including a US nuclear ballistic submarine visit to South Korea, which has not happened since the early 1980s”, officials told reporters this week. The two sides will also develop a nuclear advisory group to discuss nuclear and strategic planning issues.

Politicians in Seoul have long urged Washington to involve them more in planning how and when to use nuclear weapons against North Korea. As North Korea’s nuclear arsenal grows in size and sophistication, South Koreans are increasingly wary of not knowing what will make Biden push the nuclear button on their behalf. Fear that Washington might abandon Seoul has led to calls for South Korea to develop its own nuclear weapons. But in January, Mr. Yoon alarmed policymakers in Washington when he became the first South Korean president to bring the idea back to the table in decades.

It suddenly became clear to the United States that reassuring words and gestures would no longer work, and that if it wanted to deter South Korea from building its own bombs, it would have to come up with something concrete. Furthermore, Mr. Yoon has made it clear that he looks forward to returning home after making “visible” progress.

This new group of nuclear advisers ticks the box, bringing about the increased involvement the South Korean government has asked for, but the bigger question is whether it will allay public concerns. . This does not mean that the United States is fully committed to using nuclear weapons to defend South Korea if North Korea attacks.

But plans for a nuclear submarine to visit South Korea for the first time in four decades mean the United States is trying to take its responsibilities seriously. In return, the United States demanded that South Korea continue to be a non-nuclear state and firmly defend the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The United States considers it necessary to prevent South Korea from denuclearizing, fearing that if it fails, other countries will follow in their footsteps. But it’s unclear how that pledge will be received by a group of South Korean scholars, scientists and ruling party members who are pushing for Seoul to arm itself.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *