President Biden is due to visit South Korea and Japan from May 20-24. He is due to attend a summit with South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on May 21 in Seoul, before heading to Tokyo for a May 23 meeting with the Japanese. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The next day, Biden is due to meet with leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), made up of Australia, Japan, India and the United States.
PSAKI said Biden will discuss opportunities to deepen vital U.S. security relations and strengthen economic ties during his talks with Yoon and Kishida.
On the agenda of Biden’s meetings with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts are: climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, other common challenges, as well as joint efforts to support the Ukrainian people and hold the responsible Russia, said PSAKI.
But on Biden’s Asia trip, North Korea’s threat to key US allies in Northeast Asia and US counteractions will be key topics. North Korea has recently ratcheted up tensions by continuing missile launches and is apparently ready to resume nuclear weapons testing.
“North Korea will certainly be discussed, of course, given the important roles that both South Korea and Japan play in regional security,” Psaki said at the press conference.
“In light of North Korea’s continued destabilizing actions in the region, including the test launch of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles, President Biden will make it clear that our commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea and Japanese allies, will reiterate our commitment, should I say, including our extensive deterrence commitments, is ironclad,” Psaki said, referring to South Korea by its official title, the Republic of Korea.
Extended deterrence is the United States’ commitment to deter or respond to adversary coercion or nuclear and non-nuclear military attacks against United States allies and partners. The American nuclear umbrella is one of the means offered by the United States to achieve widespread deterrence.
The incoming Yoon administration is also pursuing a two-pronged approach aimed at simultaneously improving the viability of U.S. extended deterrence and building the independent capabilities of the South Korean military to counter the rise of missile and nuclear threats from North Korea.
In particular, Yoon seeks to bolster U.S. extended deterrence by leveraging the High-Level Group on Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation and conducting regular exercises involving U.S. strategic assets such as strategic bombers, carriers. nuclear-powered aircraft and submarines.
Biden and Yoon are very likely to discuss ways to bolster the U.S.’s extensive deterrence of South Korea against North Korea at their May 21 summit, given North Korea’s 14 rounds of missile launches. North this year and Yoon’s policy focused on strengthening South Korea. – United States Combined Defense Posture.
Full Range of US Military Capabilities
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday “reaffirmed America’s unwavering commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea, leveraging the full range of U.S. military capabilities, to include extended deterrence capabilities,” in a statement released by the Pentagon.
Austin and outgoing South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook held a phone call on Wednesday to discuss North Korea’s ballistic missile test and the security environment on the Korean peninsula that day.
The two leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s missile launch and pledged to “continue close cooperation to strengthen the deterrence and defense posture of the U.S.-Korea alliance,” the Pentagon statement said.
State Department spokesman Ned Price at a Thursday press briefing stressed the importance of coordination with South Korea and Japan in responding to back-to-back North Korean missile launches. .
Price said the United States was discussing countermeasures, including a US proposal to introduce a new UN Security Council resolution on North Korea, with its allies in the Indo-Pacific. He also said Seoul, Tokyo and Washington were in talks over the US commitment to defending South Korea and Japan.
But the State Department spokesperson stressed that the UN Security Council should take concerted action to hold North Korea accountable for continuing ballistic missile launches in violation of several UNSC resolutions.
“We believe it is vital that the international community, our allies as well as our partners around the world, send a very clear signal to (North Korea) that these types of provocations will not be tolerated, they will not improve its strategic positioning, and the world will respond accordingly,” Price said.
Price also said North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, were “an affront” to multiple UN Security Council resolutions, which the five permanent members and the other 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council have signed.