(ATTN: UPDATES with additional comments on N. Korea, Inflation Reduction Act in last 4 paras)
By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- A senior White House official said Thursday the United States is seeking an "effective mix" of measures to bolster extended deterrence for its Northeast Asian allies against evolving military threats by North Korea.
"We're working within our alliances, with both the Republic of Korea and Japan to develop an effective mix of tangible measures to this end and specific practical steps to take to strengthen the extended deterrence commitment," National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said via video links during a forum in Seoul co-hosted by South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper and the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Sullivan said they include a "more visible regional presence of U.S. strategic capabilities" and the resumption of the Seoul-Washington Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG), which was held for the first time in five years in Washington in September.
He said the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. spent "a considerable amount of time talking through the extended deterrence issue" at a bilateral summit held in Cambodia last month. He stopped short of sharing details of what was discussed.
Sullivan said Washington's relevant dialogues with Seoul and Tokyo are underlined by President Joe Biden's stated commitment to engage in "more cooperative decision-making" involving the allies on the matter.
"He will follow through on it, and that includes deeper deliberations with allies on sensitive nuclear weapons issues, both in bilateral format and in multilateral formats," the official added.
He made no specific mention of whether Washington could consider the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons to Korea, while stressing that Pyongyang would face a higher price if it continues major provocations. The allies say the North is seen as being technically ready for another underground nuclear test.
With regard to South Korea's concerns about the impact from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Sullivan voiced optimism for a "win-win" resolution.
"I have an underlying confidence in what this law has to offer and the ways in which we can effectively work together to ensure it is a win-win," Sullivan said.
The act, signed into law by Biden, has sparked concerns that South Korean automakers could lose ground in the U.S. market due to a tax credit provision on electric vehicles assembled only in North America.
S. Korea mistakenly fires machine gun near border with N. Korea
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 20,000 ahead of lifting of indoor mask mandate
(LEAD) N. Korea rejects alleged arms trading with Russia, warns of 'undesirable result'
(Yonhap Interview) NATO chief calls for stronger security ties with S. Korea to address China, other global challenges
Japanese teen romance film attracts 1 mln Korean viewers for 1st time in 21 yrs
Yoon's visit to UAE, Switzerland ends in economic deals
(News Focus) Fate of inter-Korean military accord hangs in balance amid Pyongyang's recalcitrance
N. Korean drone incursions pose complex security challenge to S. Korea
S. Korea puts priority on tackling inflation, revitalizing exports in 2023 policy goals
Yoon's outreach to Southeast Asia keeps China in the loop