ALBAWABA - The United States and South Korea are slated to hold joint tabletop exercises in February to bolster both countries' defense capabilities against nuclear threats by North Korea.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that his country and South Korea will conduct discussion-based tabletop exercises to enhance deterrence against nuclear threats, as complex scenarios focusing on nuclear threats on the Korean Peninsula are discussed.
The defense chiefs of the United States and South Korea vowed to expand military drills and boost nuclear deterrence planning to counter North Korea's weapons development and prevent a war https://t.co/tGUKIjFOBW— Reuters (@Reuters) January 31, 2023
Austin’s announcement was published in an article, entitled "The Coalition Stands Ready," published by the South Korean Yonhap news agency on Tuesday.
It coincided with a previous statement made by the South Korean Ministry of Defense, issued earlier in January, that its country will conduct nuclear maneuvers with the U.S. next month to deter North Korea.
"South Korea and the United States will hold tabletop exercises next month as the allies move to better counter the North's nuclear threats, South Korea's defence minister said on Wednesday." @Reuters @HeeShin https://t.co/w5vRCDTPdG— The Korea Society (@koreasociety) January 11, 2023
Among other plans, the two countries are to hold spring exercises that are expected to last 11 days without interruption, in addition to a final test of a domestically made solid-fuel space rocket, as well as the launching of Korea's first military observation satellite.
Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for a massive increase in the North Korean nuclear arsenal, including the mass production of tactical nuclear weapons and the development of new missiles for use in counter-nuclear strikes.
According to the North Korean News Agency, he said that the country should strengthen military power on a large scale in response to what he described as American and South Korean hostility. He suggested that both countries are determined to isolate his country.
Austin, who arrived in South Korea Monday, is scheduled talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sob on Tuesday on possible ways to enhance the U.S. expanded deterrence.
Austin is also scheduled to meet with President Yoon Seok Yul during this visit.
LIVE: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in South Korea #GlobalNews #KoreaNews #KoreanNews #Korea [Video] https://t.co/RR26cMDhBq— China News Video (@ChinaNewsVideo) January 31, 2023
Last year, North Korea conducted a missile launch, that is said to be the largest since 2017, when it launched a medium-range Hwasong-12 ballistic missile, reaching a maximum altitude of 2,000 kilometers before plunging into the Sea of Japan.
After several short-range missiles were fired into the sea, the U.S. imposed more sanctions on North Korea, and negotiations between the two countries have since stalled.
By Razan Abdelhadi
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