U.S. warns it will deploy ‘strategic assets’ to South Korea if Pyongyang conducts nuke test

U.S. warns it will deploy ‘strategic assets’ to South Korea if Pyongyang conducts nuke test

Faced with the growing prospect of a fresh nuclear test by Pyongyang, Washington has said it will consider deploying to the Korean Peninsula strategic assets — which could mean anything from nuclear-powered submarines, strategic bombers or even tactical nuclear weapons — should that come to fruition.

The U.S. warning, which is part of a joint deterrence strategy by Washington and Seoul, follows a two-day session held this week of the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD).

“The two sides affirmed that, should the DPRK (North Korea) conduct a nuclear test, the ROK (South Korea) and the U.S. will engage in a strong and firm bilateral response, to include options to deploy U.S. strategic assets to the region,” said the Pentagon and South Korea’s Defense Ministry in a joint statement issued Wednesday, the same day Pyongyang launched two cruise missiles into the Yellow Sea.

The statement is in line with remarks made a week earlier by South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup, who warned that the allies would unleash a "high-intensity" response in the event of a nuclear test to demonstrate that Pyongyng’s use of such weapons would be "futile."

"In case of a strategic provocation, we plan to mobilize not only South Korean military capabilities but also U.S. strategic assets," the minister said at the time.


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