TOKYO, Nov 13 (KUNA) -- South Korea and the US updated their joint deterrence strategies on North Korea during their annual security talks Monday as part of efforts to better counter North Korea's growing missile and nuclear threats, Yonhap News Agency reported.
At the 55th Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik and US counterpart Lloyd Austin signed the revised document of the "tailored deterrence strategy," marking the first revision since it was adopted in 2013 following North Korea's third nuclear test, the report said.
The allies have been working to update the key military document to better reflect the North's advancing nuclear and missile threats, given that Pyongyang has conducted six nuclear tests and enshrined in law the right to use preemptive nuclear strikes to protect itself. Austin reaffirmed the US "extended deterrence" commitment to use the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend South Korea, according to the report.
"America's extended deterrence commitment to the ROK remains ironclad. Together, we have continued to make exceptional progress on all of these alliance priorities this year. And we seek to work more closely than ever with like-minded countries, including Japan, our allies and partners," Austin was quoted as saying during the signing ceremony, referring to South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.
Shin said US' increased deployments of strategic assets to South Korea this year, including a nuclear-capable submarine's first port call here in over 40 years and a B-52 strategic bomber's first landing, enhanced the credibility of Washington's extended deterrence commitment.
Austin's visit comes at a time when Pyongyang is believed to be trying to make yet another attempt to launch a military satellite with Russian assistance following the rare summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. (end)