September 24, 2023

A US submarine able to launching nuclear ballistic missiles arrived in South Korea on Tuesday for the primary time in 4 many years, in Washington’s newest try to spice up South Koreans’ confidence in its dedication to defending the nation from North Korea.

“As we converse, a US nuclear submarine is making a port in Busan at present,” White Home Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell informed reporters in Seoul on Tuesday, referring to a port in southwestern South Korea.

The Pentagon mentioned a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine was en route, however Mr. Campbell was the primary US official to verify its arrival.

The port name by the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Kentucky “displays the unwavering dedication of the US to the Republic of Korea for our prolonged deterrence assurance,” the U.S. navy mentioned in a press release Tuesday, utilizing a South Korean official. Title.

When President Biden and South Korean counterpart Yoon Seok-yeol met in Washington in April, the highest concern on their agenda was how one can reassure nervous South Koreans that the US would defend its ally towards North Korea regardless of North Korea’s rising nuclear weapons. . arsenal.

Earlier than the summit, Mr. Yoon steered that in the future South Korea would possibly attempt to develop its personal nuclear weapons.

On the summit assembly, Mr. Yun reaffirmed South Korea’s coverage of refusing to develop nuclear weapons. As an alternative, the 2 leaders proclaimed the “Washington Declaration,” wherein Mr. Biden declared that any nuclear assault by the North towards the South could be met with a “fast, crushing, and decisive response” utilizing “the total vary of US capabilities, together with nuclear.”

To display such dedication, the US agreed to extend “common visibility” of strategic websites across the Korean Peninsula, together with visiting a US nuclear ballistic missile submarine. The Allies additionally agreed to arrange a Nuclear Advisory Group to debate how to reply to a nuclear assault by Kim Jong-un’s forces.

Mr. Campbell led the US delegation to the group’s inaugural assembly on Tuesday at Mr. Yoon’s presidential workplace in Seoul. Mr. Yun mentioned on the assembly that his nation’s ties with the US are being upgraded to a “nuclear alliance,” in response to his workplace.

“Any nuclear assault by North Korea towards the US or its allies is unacceptable and can result in the top of this regime,” the group mentioned in a press release later.

North Korea has accused Washington and Seoul of fomenting tensions by means of “open dialogue of using nuclear weapons.” Washington’s strikes to strengthen its alliance with South Korea will solely push the North “additional away from the negotiating desk,” mentioned Kim Yo-jong, sister and spokeswoman for Mr. Kim, in a press release launched to North Korea’s state media on Monday. .

Between 1976 and 1981, US ballistic nuclear missile submarines made a complete of 35 port calls in South Korea, in response to navy analysts. America withdrew a few of its troops stationed in South Korea within the Nineteen Seventies because it tried, because it does now, to allay South Korea’s issues about its protection commitments.

America withdrew all of its tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea by 1991 as a part of a world effort to scale back nuclear weapons. In 1992, the 2 Koreas signed an settlement “to not take a look at, produce, obtain, possess, retailer, deploy, or use nuclear weapons.”

The North violated this settlement by creating and testing nuclear weapons. Some analysts within the South are questioning if South Korea violated the deal by stationing a US nuclear-powered missile submarine in one in all its ports. The nation’s Protection Ministry insisted that getting into the port didn’t violate the inter-Korean deal.

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