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[SCM Every Aspects] Joint inspection of unprecedented strategic assets… Strong message to North Korea

ROK and US defense ministers visit Andrews Air Force Base

Confirming operational capabilities such as B-52 and B-1B bombers

‘ROK and US respond to North Korea in an unprecedented strong way’

[SCM Every Aspects] Joint inspection of unpreceden

The 54th ROK-US Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) was an opportunity to reaffirm the steadfast ROK-US alliance and to share and discuss the strategic vision for security on the Korean Peninsula.


During his visit to the United States, Defense Minister Lee Jong Sup was actively involved in strengthening the capabilities to implement denuclearization and extended deterrence on the Korean Peninsula.


On the 3rd and 4th, after a meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on the 2nd (local time) and a visit to the National Geographic Information Agency (NGA) under the US Department of Defense, the two ministers visited Andrews Air Force Base and the Brookings Institution in order to check US strategic assets and exchange opinions with foreign security experts.


Minister of National Defense Lee Jong Sup and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, near Washington DC, following the SCM on the 3rd (local time).


The visit, which Secretary Austin suggested, was to inform the people of both nations that the US reconfirmed extended deterrence commitment to defend ROK, the US Department of Defense explained.


The two ministers were briefed on the capabilities and operational operation of the B-52 and B-1B, which are strategic assets of the United States, and encouraged related officials. Moreover, they reconfirmed their commitment to cooperate in strengthening the capabilities to implement the US extended deterrence in order that they can effectively respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.


Minister Lee stressed, “We are keeping an eye on North Korea's consistent efforts to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, including its recent nuclear threat. The unprecedented visit by the defense ministers of the ROK and the United States to a U.S. strategic asset has great significance in that if North Korea launches a nuclear provocation, ROK and the U.S. will respond in a completely different and much stricter way than ever before.”


“This visit will serve as a strong warning to North Korea and a significant message to the South Korean people, which will dramatically strengthen trust in bilateral efforts for extended deterrence,” he added.


Before he visited Andrews Air Force Base, Minister Lee paid tribute and laid a wreath to the Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.



Minister Lee Jong Sup attends a meeting at The Brookings Institution

U.S. experts point out that the warning against the North Korea is very timely



On the 4th (local time), a meeting was held with foreign affairs and security experts from the Brookings Institution so as to discuss the circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and across the region as well as current alliance issues.


The Brookings Institution was founded in 1916 as the first non-governmental think tank that specialized in public policies in the United States. The meeting was attended by experts in missile and nuclear weapons policies, defense strategies, policies against North Korea, and US-China relations, including Vice Director Suzanne Maloney.


At the meeting, experts expressed their concerns over the unprecedented escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula caused by North Korea's continuous acts of provocation. Furthermore, under these circumstances, it was evaluated that it was very timely and meaningful for the ROK and the US to send a strong warning message to North Korea, by strengthening the capabilities to implement the US extended deterrence via this SCM.


In response, Minister Lee pointed out that the ROK and the US expressed empathy for the need to upgrade their action up to another level considering the implications of North Korea's recent development of nuclear capabilities and policy changes. Particularly, he mentioned, “At this SCM, we have achieved more practical outcomes than ever before through discussions on a variety of ways to effectively deter and respond to the North Korea’s nuclear threat.”


In addition, experts expressed interest in △the ROK military’s own capabilities improvement trend, such as the three-axis system to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats △the ROK and the US’ countermeasures against North Korea’s 7th nuclear test △the contents of the dauntless proposal, and Minister Lee explained the ROK government's position in detail.

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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