U.S. to Strengthen Nuclear Protection of S.Korea

  • By Choi Kyung-woon, Yu Yong-weon

    April 26, 2023 10:09

    President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden are poised to announce fresh steps to protect South Korea against a North Korean attack after their meeting Wednesday, officials said Tuesday.
    That is expected to mean a more active role for South Korea's planning and executing any use of U.S. nuclear weapons. 
    President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee walk with their U.S. counterparts Joe and Jill Biden at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on Tuesday. /Yonhap
    Presidential spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye told reporters, "We expect more advanced extended deterrence," while John Kirby at the White House National Security Council told reporters, "I think you can absolutely expect that the notion of extended deterrence and how we can continue to improve and strengthen our ability to contribute to this, to the mutual security commitments in the alliance... will certainly be front and center" of the summit.
    "What we are going to talk about over the next couple of days is how strong this alliance is, how committed the United States is to our security commitments on the peninsula and to the Korean people. And we're going to talk about ways we can broaden and deepen that relationship," Kirby said. 
    That is also likely to include more intelligence sharing, despite recent revelations that the U.S. eavesdropped on the South Korean presidential office, which Seoul has been anxious to play down. 
    President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee and their U.S. counterparts Joe and Jill Biden pay tribute at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on Tuesday. /Yonhap
    Yoon and Biden and their wives visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on Tuesday, the first time that the two countries' leaders have paid tribute there together since Presidents Kim Young-sam and Bill Clinton opened it in 1995.
    They then looked around the newly built Wall of Remembrance, which opened to the public in July last year and features the names of more than 36,000 Americans and over 7,100 Korean auxiliary staff who died in the Korean War. 
    The visit marks the 70th anniversary of the bilateral alliance. 
    President Yoon Suk-yeol talks with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland on Tuesday. /Yonhap
    Yoon also visited the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, where they discussed cooperation on space exploration.
    But the first day of Yoon's state visit on Monday was devoted to business. Yoon met with the heads of six U.S. companies that promised to invest US$1.9 billion in South Korea, plus the CEO of Netflix, who pledged to pump in another $2.5 billion. 
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