U.S.-South Korea Defense Policy

Jan 4, 2017

The United States of America and the Republic of Korea recently held the inaugural meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group in Washington. Officials from both sides held comprehensive and in-depth discussions on strategic and policy issues regarding extended deterrence against North Korea, including how to better leverage the full breadth of national power, using diplomacy, information, military, and economic elements.

The United States reiterated its ironclad and unwavering commitment to draw on the full range of its military capabilities, including the nuclear umbrella, conventional strike, and missile defense, to provide extended deterrence for South Korea, and reaffirmed the longstanding U.S. policy that any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with an effective and overwhelming response.

In particular, the United States emphasized that it remains steadfast in meeting these enduring commitments and providing immediate support to South Korea.

In response to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the officials reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to regularly deploy U.S. strategic assets for the defense of South Korea, as well as to enhance such measures and identify new or additional steps to strengthen deterrence. The officials also highlighted that the United States in 2016 demonstrated its commitment and resolve to South Korea by exercising extended deterrence through measures to enhance missile defense capabilities and through clear demonstrations of the U.S. nuclear triad.

Emphasizing the importance of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group as a high-level consultative mechanism, the two sides expressed their intent to continue Alliance discussions through the group on how to best tailor our response to this evolving threat of North Korea.