August 24, 2023 12:09
President Yoon Suk-yeol visited the Uouth Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command's nuclear bunker to watch ongoing joint military drills on Tuesday.
"We must be ready for a strong response to a North Korean nuclear attack," Yoon said. It was the first time in a decade that a South Korean president has visited the Command Post Theater Air Naval Ground Operations, or CP TANGO, as the bunker is known.
The presidential office said the visit was aimed at "sending a strong message of warning to North Korea against escalating tensions."
At a briefing by Combined Forces Commander Paul La Camera, Yoon said, "CP TANGO has served as the brain center commanding the South Korean and U.S. armies in times of war since the CFC was established in 1978 and symbolizes the strength of the military alliance."
"Overwhelming ability, practical training and firm resolve are the source of the power to suppress and deliver immediate and unwavering retaliation against North Korea's provocations."
TANGO, built in a granite tunnel on the outskirts of Seoul in the 1970s, can withstand nuclear, biological and chemical weapons attacks and is stocked with enough supplies to last two months without outside support.
The Ulchi Freedom Shield joint drills, which began on Monday, reflect scenarios of battles seen in Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as a North Korean nuclear missile attack. Referring to the nine UN Command member countries that are participating in the drills, Yoon said, "Based on a strong South Korea-U.S. alliance, we will bolster solidarity with UNC member countries."
Yoon told LaCamera, "Assuming that North Korea uses nuclear weapons, South Korea and the U.S. must combine their nuclear and conventional military strengths to be ready."
He also took a commemorative photo with soldiers while chanting the slogan, "We go together!"
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