By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, April 26 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned North Korea that any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies will result in the end of its regime.
Biden issued the warning during a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol after discussions how to strengthen the U.S. "extended deterrence" commitment to South Korea during a summit at the White House.
Extended deterrence refers to the U.S. commitment to mobilizing all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.
"A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States, its allies or partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action," Biden said.
The two leaders also adopted a joint statement on extended deterrence, dubbed the "Washington Declaration," in which they agreed to a Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG), a new mechanism designed to strengthen U.S. extended deterrence.
Biden said the Washington Declaration was a response to North Korea's evolving nuclear threat.
"And it's about strengthening deterrence and response to the DPRK's escalatory behavior," he said of the declaration.
But the commitment will not lead to stationing of any U.S. nuclear assets in South Korea, he said.
"What the declaration means is that we are going to make every effort to consult with our allies when it's appropriate," he said. "The bottom line here is even closer cooperation, closer consultation, and we are not going to be stationing nuclear weapons on the peninsula but we will have visits, port visits of nuclear submarines and things like that."
A U.S. administration official earlier said a nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) will soon visit South Korea as part of what he called more regular deployment of U.S. strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula.
Biden also reaffirmed strong U.S. commitment to the security of South Korea.
"That includes our commitment to extended deterrence and includes nuclear deterrent. They are particularly important in the face of DPRK's increased threats in a blatant violation of U.S. sanctions," he said, adding, "At the same time, we continue to seek serious or substantial diplomatic breakthrough with the DPRK to bolster stability on the peninsula."
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