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Biden warns nuclear attack by N. Korea will result in end of regime

S.Korea, US agree to respond swiftly, overwhelmingly in event of North Korean nuclear attack

By Ji Da-gyum

Published : April 27, 2023 - 04:13

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US President Joe Biden speaks at a joint news conference after their summit at the White House in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. (Yonhap) US President Joe Biden speaks at a joint news conference after their summit at the White House in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. (Yonhap)

US President Biden on Wednesday warned that a nuclear attack by North Korea against the US and South Korea will result in the end of the Kim Jong-un regime.

Biden’s warning came after he and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol adopted the “Washington Declaration,” which included the allies’ commitment to strengthening US extended deterrence against North Korean nuclear threats.

Extended deterrence is the US’ commitment to deter or respond to coercion and external attacks on US allies and partners with the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear weaponry.

“What the declaration means is that we’re going to make every effort to consult with our allies when it’s appropriate if any actions so call for it. .... The bottom line here is there’s even closer cooperation, closer consultation,” Biden told a joint news conference with Yoon following the summit in Washington.

“A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partisans -- partners -- is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action.”

But Biden ruled out the possibility of redeploying US tactical nuclear weapons or allowing South Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, saying that South Korea reaffirmed its commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in the Washington Declaration.

“We're not going to be stationing nuclear weapons on the peninsula but we will have port visits of nuclear submarines and things like that. We are not walking away from that,” Biden said, referring to the US' plan to deploy nuclear-armed submarines.

Speaking at the news conference, Yoon also said the US would deploy its strategic assets to the Korean peninsula “constantly and routinely.”

The South Korean President Yoon also warned that the allies could launch a nuclear counterattack in case of contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

“South Korea and the US have agreed to hold immediate bilateral presidential consultations in the event of North Korea's nuclear attack and respond swiftly, overwhelmingly and decisively by using the full force of the alliance, including the United States' nuclear weapons,” Yoon said.

Seoul and Washington also have agreed to establish a Nuclear Consultative Group on how to operate the new extended deterrence system.

“Now, our two countries will share information on nuclear and strategic weapon operations plans in response to North Korea's provocations, and have regular consultations on ways to plan and execute joint operations that combine South Korea's state-of-the-art conventional forces with US nuclear capabilities,” Yoon said.

The results of consultations will be reported to the leaders of the two countries regularly.

“Our two leaders have decided to significantly strengthen extended deterrence of our two countries against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats so that we can achieve peace through the superiority of overwhelming forces and not a false peace based on the goodwill of the other side,” Yoon said.