January 13, 2016 12:32
Seoul and Washington are considering adding a drill that would practice a preemptive strike on North Korean nuclear weapons to regular annual exercises in March.
This type of drill is dubbed "4D" or "detect, disrupt, destroy, and defend."
The two countries already approved the 4D operation concept in principle at their annual Security Consultative Meeting in November last year and are now working out a detailed plan, spurred by the North’s nuclear test last week.
"The two countries are discussing ways to reflect parts of the 4D concept during the joint annual exercises in March and then develop it as a full-scale operational system," a Defense Ministry official said.
Reuters quoted an American official on Monday as saying that Seoul and Washington are not considering redeploying tactical American nuclear weapons that were withdrawn from South Korea in 1991.
Meanwhile, meetings of chief nuclear negotiators from Seoul, Washington and Tokyo take place Wednesday, while the South Korean envoy also meets his Chinese counterpart on Thursday and his Russian counterpart next Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Seoul will try to persuade Beijing and Moscow to take strong sanctions against Pyongyang.
"Unless Beijing and Moscow join strong sanctions against the North, we could end up with a new cold-war situation pitting Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo against Pyongyang, Beijing, and Moscow," a researcher with a government-funded think tank speculated.
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