September 09, 2013 09:22
Seoul and Washington are about to complete a plan aimed at deterring the nuclear threat from North Korea, a government source here said Sunday.
They will sign off on the plan at the Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul on Oct. 2.
The source said South Korea and the U.S. have conducted joint research on a "tailored deterrence strategy" over the last 10 months and already practiced it during last month's joint military simulation exercise.
It envisions political, diplomatic and military responses in three stages from before any such attack to after.
In addition to the "nuclear umbrella" the U.S. provides, the strategy encompasses a missile defense and even precision strikes on North Korean nuclear facilities if the North is about to launch a nuclear-tipped missile.
The precision strikes would use South Korean ballistic missiles with a range of 300-800 km and cruise missiles with a range of more than 500-1500 km, and U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles and B-2 Stealth bombers.
A military source said, "The nuclear umbrella was abstract so far and we didn't know anything about a concrete action plan. But now Seoul and Washington have for the first time jointly worked out a nuclear deterrence strategy which functions as an operational plan."
The two countries originally decided to complete the tailored strategy by 2014 but brought it forward after the North's third nuclear test in February this year.
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