October 23, 2009 08:49
The U.S. on Thursday pledged to mobilize globally available U.S. forces and strategically flexible capabilities to augment South Korea's defense in case of crisis. It will continue to provide "extended deterrence," using the full range of military capabilities, including the nuclear umbrella, conventional forces and missile defense here.
This was specified in a 16-point statement adopted by Defense Minister Kim Tae-young and his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates in Seoul following the 41st Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting (SCM).
Gates "reiterated the firm and unwavering U.S. commitment to the defense of [South Korea] using both capabilities postured on the Korean Peninsula and globally available U.S. forces and capabilities that are strategically flexible to deploy to augment the combined defense in case of crisis."
That suggests the U.S. may deploy reinforcements from Europe and the Middle East in a crisis. Previously, the U.S. planned to mobilize such reinforcements from Asia and the Pacific, including from the mainland U.S. or Japan.
The two countries also specified concrete means for the concept of "extended deterrence" against North Korean nuclear attacks, which was first used in the SCM in 2006.
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