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S. Korean, U.S. military officers agree on timely strategic asset dispatch in case of N.K. nuke test

Defense 16:43 August 03, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- The top military officers of South Korea and the United States agreed on the "timely" deployment of U.S. strategic assets here in case of a North Korean nuclear test during video talks Wednesday, Seoul officials said.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Kim Seung-kyum and his U.S. counterpart, Mark Milley, held the talks as the allies are gearing up for the upcoming regular combined training amid concerns about the possibility of the North conducting a nuclear test.

"The two countries' JCS chairmen agreed to show the alliance's stern resolve and capabilities through joint responses, including the timely deployment of U.S. strategic assets should the North press ahead with what would be its seventh nuclear test," the JCS said in a press release.

They also agreed to actively cooperate to enhance the credibility of extended deterrence, America's stated commitment to employing a full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear options, to defend its Asian ally.

In addition, the two sides agreed to prioritize solidifying the allies' combined defense posture through field training and other drills during the Ulchi Focus Shield (UFS) training set for Aug. 22-Sept. 1.

The UFS is considered a revival of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise abolished in 2018 amid the previous Moon Jae-in administration's efforts to facilitate diplomacy with the North.

During the meeting, Kim expressed his gratitude to Milley for his "active" support for the strengthening of the two countries' combined defense posture, according to the JCS.

In turn, Milley reaffirmed the U.S.' security commitment to South Korea has remained solid over the past 70 years and will remain unchanged.

JCS Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum holds virtual talks with his U.S. counterpart, Gen. Mark A. Milley, in Seoul in this photo released by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Aug. 3, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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