President Joe Biden received his South Korean counterpart, Yoon Suk Yeol, on a state visit in which they will announce the strengthening of the US nuclear shield for Washington’s vital ally against the aggressiveness of North Korea.
A military honor guard and hundreds of guests thronged outside the White House, where Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, arrived for a day of pomp and ceremony and far-reaching geostrategic debates.
Joining Yoon, Biden praised what he called the “unbreakable bond” of the “iron alliance” between the two countries, forged in the Korean War seven decades ago.
Currently, the allies are economic powers and partners in maintaining a region Asia-Pacific “free and open”Biden said, adding: “Ours is a future full of unimaginable opportunities.”
Yoon and Biden will meet at the oval office and they will offer a joint press conference before concluding the day with a luxurious state dinner in the ceremonial East Room.
Prior to Yoon’s arrival, senior US officials told reporters the two leaders would announce measures to strengthen the deterrence against North Korea, including the first deployment of a US nuclear submarine to the country in decades.
What will be known as the Washington Declaration It will also create a US-South Korea consultative group, which will give Seoul more information and input on nuclear policy, though Washington will retain sole command of its weapons, the officials said.
The agreement, which responds to the growing tension provoked by the missile tests and the nuclear arsenal of the communist North Korearemembers the measures adopted for the last time when Washington was supervising the defense of Europe against the Soviet Union.
“In reality, the United States had not taken these steps since the height of the Cold War with our closest allies in Europe. And we are trying to ensure that by undertaking these new procedures, these new steps, our commitment to extended deterrence is unquestionable,” a senior official said.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that there are no plans to deploy US nuclear weapons in South Korea, a difference from the Cold War, when US strategic weapons were deployed in Europe.
Furthermore, Seoul will reiterate its commitment in the declaration not to seek its own nuclear arsenal.
Submarines and aircraft carriers
“We will announce that we intend to take steps to make our deterrence more visible through the regular deployment of strategic assetsincluding the visit of a snuclear ballistic submarine to South Korea, something that hadn’t happened since the early 1980s,” an official said.
In addition to submarines, there will be a “regular cadence” from other major platforms, “including bombers or aircraft carriersthe official said, stressing however that there will be “no base for those assets and certainly no nuclear weapons.”
An official stated that steps are being taken in advance to defuse potential tensions with Beijing over the toughening of the military stance.
“We are informing the Chinese in advance and stating very clearly the reasons why we are taking these measures”the official declared, adding that the Biden administration is “disappointed that China has not been prepared to use its influence” on North Korea.
Yoon is only the second foreign leader invited by Biden for a state visit, and he and his wife were received with full military honors at the White House.
On Tuesday, Yoon and Biden they visited the Korean War Memorialwhich features life-size steel statues of US soldiers marching during the 1950-53 war against the communist north.
Yoon also laid a flower crown on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Arlington National Cemetery and visited with Vice President Kamala Harris a NASA facility near Washington.
Yoon will address a joint session of Congress on Thursday and have lunch with Harris and the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. On Friday, he will visit MIT and Harvard University in Boston, before returning home on Saturday.
The United States will send a nuclear submarine to South Korea to reinforce the deterrence against the Kim Jong-un regime
Japan will increase its military preparation in the face of threats by the North Korean regime to launch its first spy satellite
South Korea shot back a Kim Jong-un regime patrol ship that violated its maritime border
North Korea confirmed that it possesses a new long-range solid fuel missile