S.eoul (AP) – The United States and South Korea want to renew their military deployment plans in the event of a new conflict with North Korea.
The Allies are responding to advances in the development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs by updating contingency plans. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin North Korea was accused on Thursday of disrupting security in the region by further improving its weapons programs in the South Korean capital, Seoul. But he made it clear that Washington was ready to continue talks with Pyongyang.
As part of routine security consultations, Austin and his South Korean envoy, Suu Kyi, approved a new “strategic planning orientation.” The instructions should be the basis for the Coalition’s New Action Plans (OPLANs). Details not disclosed.
It said in a joint statement that the agreement reflects “changes in the strategic environment”. The ministers expressed hope that the new contingency plans would allow both countries to have a greater preventive effect on the “threats of the People’s Republic” (North Korea) and to respond to them if necessary.
No decision was made to change deployment plans due to “serious threats”, Defense One newspaper quoted a U.S. official who traveled with Austin on a flight to South Korea. “But we have noticed improvements in North Korea’s capabilities, especially in its missile launching capabilities.”
During a visit to South Korea in March, Austin and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken vowed to pursue the goal of “fully disarming the Korean Peninsula.” Both countries’ nuclear disarmament means the complete disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Diplomacy is the best approach, Austin said Thursday. “We call on North Korea to come to a negotiation.”
U.S. talks with the largely isolated government in Pyongyang have not progressed for more than two and a half years. North Korea, which accuses the United States of hostile policies, has been subject to international sanctions over its nuclear program. This year, the country again tested nuclear-capable rockets and cruise missiles. Although the country declares itself a nuclear power, its position internationally due to negotiations is still unclear.
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