US deployment of "strategic assets" to South Korea may result from the upcoming nuclear test by North Korea

USA: Washington and Seoul on Wednesday pledged to increase their joint military exercises and strengthen their security cooperation with Japan amid rising tensions in the region. He also said they could send US nuclear "strategic assets" to the peninsula if Pyongyang conducts its rumored nuclear tests.
The joint statement by the Pentagon and the South Korean Defense Ministry provided the most recent evidence of the growing alliance's strength between the two countries as US-China relations deteriorate and concerns about the growing expansion of North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

North Korea on Wednesday launched two cruise missiles off its west coast, and just days after China launched a barrage of missiles near Taiwan and Japan, in response to US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei North Korea launched two cruise missiles. Wednesday.
The statement used an acronym for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name, and stated that "US officials, taking advantage of the full range of US military capabilities to include nuclear, conventional, defense of the ROK." reaffirmed US commitment to ironclad, missile defense, and other advanced non-nuclear capabilities."

The statement concluded the Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue, a two-day series of bilateral meetings between senior defense officials in Seoul. This was the 21st time that the two sides had met like this.

Both governments have issued warnings in recent months that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear weapons test.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, as it is officially known, will conduct a nuclear test, with the ROK and the US "affirming that, if the DPRK conducts a nuclear test, the ROK and the US will be a strong and strong American in the region." Firm bilateral response to include options to deploy strategic assets," the statement read.
Although there are several different definitions of "strategic asset" and it is not clear which one Washington would use, the term often refers to military hardware used to launch nuclear weapons, such as aircraft carriers or bombers. , which is not near Seoul.

Since taking office this spring, the Eun Suk-yol administration in Seoul has called for the withdrawal of nuclear weapons that the US removed from South Korea in 1991. On the peninsula, the US has about 30,000 troops stationed.

"To promote joint preparedness," the statement said, "the two countries intend to launch a large-scale joint military exercise next week."
The US, South Korea and Japan recently concluded a joint naval exercise near Hawaii, which the Pentagon described as a "missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise" in response to "DPRK challenges".
The allies "appreciated" the progress made in a US missile defense system first installed in South Korea in 2017 to protect the nation from North Korean missiles, in a statement released on Wednesday.

THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is opposed by China, which penalized several South Korean economic sectors, including tourism and entertainment, five years before Seoul established it.
Beijing is concerned that the US could use missile defense systems to track down Chinese weapons, despite the administration's insistence that it is a non-negotiable case of self-defense.
Beijing has kept pressure on Seoul over the matter, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin last week.
China's foreign ministry claimed that South Korea had agreed to restrict access to the missile defense system after the meeting, but Seoul denied that claim.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, a presidential official said last week: "Our government categorically states that THAAD is a self-defense defense tool intended to protect the lives and safety of our people from North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and Security is to avoid a matter of sovereignty, which can never be negotiated.
The United States and South Korea said in a joint statement on Wednesday that they "recognized the importance of the coalition's missile defense architecture in protecting the ROK people as well as the US and ROK deployed forces - particularly the recent DPRK missiles". Looking at the tests."
China is by far South Korea's biggest trading partner, but Yun promised to resist pressure from Beijing more strongly during his presidential campaign.

The two allies' support for "maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits" was also reaffirmed in their joint statement on Wednesday that they met with US President Joe Biden in May. However, some observers in Washington questioned whether Yun was concerned about retaliation against Beijing and he quickly delivered his decision to meet with Pelosi in Seoul after leaving Taipei earlier this month. joint statement, according to Suo Kim, a former CIA intelligence analyst who is now a policy analyst .

The Rand Corporation in Washington, showed that the US and South Korea alliance was growing and changing in response to threats, but Seoul may not yet be ready to go as far as the US wants to challenge the Chinese government.

Seoul seems to recognise the need for the alliance to develop and grow in order to address issues outside of the Korean peninsula, according to her. And the Yoon administration appears to concur in general.
The analyst went on to say that Yoon's reluctance to personally greet Pelosi during her visit to South Korea "revealed Seoul's lingering sensitivities to Beijing's backlash" and that these worries would likely factor into "Seoul's calculations on matters that have implications on both Washington and Beijing."

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