US, ROK agree to extend nuclear deterrence, military upgrades

US, ROK agree to extend nuclear deterrence, military upgrades

ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol 1st L and US President Joe Biden 1st R hold their first summit talks on May 21, 2022 in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. PHOTO XINHUA United States President Joe Biden has made a series of shock waves on his first Asian trip by committing to nuclear deterrence for the Republic of Korea, wider military exercises and weapon upgrades in a region deemed to be the engine of global economic growth.

After their meeting on May 21, Biden and Yoon Suk-yeol, president of the Republic of Korea, said in a joint statement that the US has extended a deterrence commitment to the ROK, including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities. This is the first time that the joint statement sends a clear message to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

We, as the leaders of the two countries, reiterated our common goal of the complete denuclearization of the DPRK. There is no compromise for security. At a joint news conference after the summit, Yoon said, "We concurred that strong deterrence against North Korea is paramount."

Yoon said that there could be many other things when it comes to extended deterrence, as well as a nuclear umbrella.

His joint statement with Biden also noted the expansion of the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training in and around the Korean Peninsula.

Shawn Ho, associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, said he expects the DPRK to react very soon to the joint statement as they see some of the moves as being targeted toward the DPRK.

The DPRK is expected to voice its concerns or opposition to some of the intentions of the US and the ROK Ho, according to China Daily. Biden and Yoon have agreed to reactivate the High-Level Extended Defterrence Strategy and Consultation Group, a bilateral platform suspended in 2018, at the earliest date.

Lee, a Harvard student, said that the ROK and the US have expanded their military alliance to include the economic security component.

The joint statement shows that the sharing and cooperation of cyber and space security is a common goal of the US and the ROK in a common effort to deepen our political, economic, security and people-to-people ties.

Biden arrived in Seoul on May 20 to begin his first visit to the ROK as president, just 10 days after Yoon's inauguration. The timing of Biden's ROK visit was the only unconventional aspect of the new term, said Sourabh Gupta, senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-America Studies.