The US is not discussing joint nuclear exercises with South Korea, President Joe Biden said, contradicting remarks by his South Korean counterpart as tensions flare with North Korea, Report informs referring to Reuters.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol had said that Seoul and Washington are discussing possible joint exercises using US nuclear assets, while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un branded the South its “undoubted enemy.”
“No,” Biden said when asked by reporters at the White House if he was currently discussing joint nuclear exercises with South Korea. He had just returned from a vacation in the US Virgin Islands, where he was accompanied by his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.
Yoon’s comments followed his call for “war preparation” with an “overwhelming” capability, after a year of a record number of North Korean missile tests and the intrusion of North Korean drones into the South last week.
“The nuclear weapons belong to the United States, but planning, information sharing, exercises and training should be jointly conducted by South Korea and the United States,” Yoon said in the interview with the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
The newspaper quoted Yoon as saying the joint planning and exercises would be aimed at a more effective implementation of the US “extended deterrence” and that Washington was also “quite positive” about the idea.
The term “extended deterrence” means the ability of the US military, particularly its nuclear forces, to deter attacks on American allies.