The authorities of the United States and South Korea have maintained this Thursday a meeting after which they reiterated their shared idea that North Korea “continues to advance its missile and weapons program.”
“We have discussed various issues, including our unity in dealing with threats from North Korea (…) and we have also reaffirmed our shared assessment that North Korea continues to advance its missile and weapons program.”, said the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, at a press conference.
Austin has met with his South Korean counterpart, Suh Wook, with whom he has established a project to counter the North Korean government’s military and missile advances, reports the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Both nations already have two action plans to deal with various war scenarios led by North Korea, even in the event that Pyongyang launches an invasion attempt on Seoul.
For his part, the South Korean minister Suh has recognized the need to implement a plan that includes a series of changes regarding the threat that North Korea now poses based on the evolution of the “Army Defense Reform 2.0”.
Regarding the tensions between Taiwan, the United States and China, Washington and Seoul, in a joint statement, have remarked “The importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
In this same text, it is added that, for the United States, the Indo-Pacific region is “the highest priority for the Department of Defense.”
Austin landed in South Korea on Wednesday for a series of annual bilateral security and defense consultations. Upon his arrival, the Pentagon chief expressed the importance of keeping the region “free and open”, something that can be achieved to a greater extent “working together with allies such as South Korea.”
The defense officials of South Korea and the US agreed today to update their joint contingency plans in the event of an open war with the North due to the arms advances that Pyonyang has harvested.
This agreement promises to update a plan focused mainly on conventional attacks to deal with a North Korean arsenal that now has much more sophisticated missiles when it comes to circumventing interception systems, apparently capable of loading atomic warheads and that can also be launched by submarines.
However, he highlighted the commitment of both allies to a “diplomatic approach” to the North.
Since Joe Biden came to power, Washington has offered Pyongyang to meet to try to reactivate the denuclearization talks, stalled since 2019, but the regime has rejected the invitation, assuring that the US maintains its “hostile policy” intact.
(With information from Europa Press)