Seoul, Nov 13 (PTI) The US and South Korea on Monday updated their bilateral security agreement to more effectively counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat.
This step has been taken after high-level military talks in Seoul. In the talks, the partners discussed trilateral exercises with Japan and improving information sharing arrangements regarding North Korea’s missile launches.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is currently in Seoul for annual talks with South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won Sik and other military officials. The talks focused on the issue of strengthening the nuclear defense system against North Korea. Austin said they also discussed how the partners can coordinate on geopolitical issues, including Russia’s war against Ukraine and China’s growing aggression in the region.
Tension between the two Koreas is at its peak over weapons testing by North Korea and exercises by South Korea with the US.
During the security consultation meeting, Austin and Shin signed a new version of the ‘Deterrence Strategy Agreement’ between the two countries. This is the first time in a decade that the agreement has been amended in view of the growing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.
Shin said that according to the new document, the United States will use its full military capabilities, including nuclear weapons, to defend South Korea in the event of a nuclear attack by North Korea.
He also said the document would outline allies’ strategy for how South Korea could assist U.S. nuclear operations with its conventional capabilities, but he did not elaborate.
AP Dheeraj Madhav