South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol was on an official state visit to the US to secure a landmark Nuclear weapons deal to counter the continuous nuclear threat by North Korea. President Joe Biden announced the US would periodically deploy Nukes in South Korean territory, and the agreement would strengthen the allies’ cooperation. After the deal, the White House will deploy its Nuclear submarines in the Republic of Korea, and in return, Seoul has agreed not to deploy its atomic weapons.
President Yoon’s visit to the US was the second official state visit hosted by the White House since President Biden took office in 2021. America has given much significance to the allied country S Korea which has been a friend for 70 years and a key ally to the US in the Indo-Pacific region.
Importance of the Agreement
The current agreement ensured American defense cooperation by deploying nuclear submarines in South Korea. The US has previously pledged to defend South Korea in any case and declared to use Nukes if necessary. Some Koreans doubted the US promise and urged the Seoul government to work on its nuclear program.
President Yoon said both countries have agreed to conduct rapid bilateral presidential talks in the case of a nuclear attack by N Korea. He added the US and South Korea would respond overwhelmingly with full force to crush any aggression by Pyongyang. Biden announced the US would have “sole authority” to use Nukes against N Korea on behalf of Seoul in the case of a nuclear attack.
Three officials from President Biden’s administration discussed the agreement’s details at a news conference. They said deploying nuclear submarines to the Republic of Korea would be a significant step towards a more vast strategy. One senior administrator reported the deployment of armed submarines had not happened since the 1980s and that the action would fulfill the US’s pledge to defend S Korea.
North Korea Developing Advanced Missiles
The US and S Korean Presidents have warned North Korea of its Nuclear planning by striking the deal. On the other hand, Pyongyang is developing tactical Nukes that can easily target South Korea and working on its long-range warheads that can reach US lands. North Korea has revealed a breakthrough in the solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and has recently tested one with a 1000 km range, and it is claimed the missile test had been successful.
With the atomic arms development growth of North Korea, Seoul was seeking President Biden to use nuclear weapons for South Korean defense. Under the new deal, the White House will make its commitment to defend Seoul more apparent by sending a nuclear-armed submarine to S.Korea for the first time in the last 40 years. The arms deal also includes sharing of strategic assets and nuclear-capable bombers. The two countries will create a cooperative consultant team to discuss the nuclear planning on how and when to use Nukes against Pyongyang.
US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines visited South Korean ports multiple times during the Cold War, and America had hundreds of warheads installed in South Korea then. In 1991 White House retrieved all the warheads stationed in Koren Peninsula. After that, the US made an agreement that bounded both Korean nations from developing, possessing, receiving, storing, producing, deploying, and using nuclear weapons. Seoul asked the US to deploy American Nukes again in South Korean territory. North Korean Government repeatedly violated the declaration regarding atomic weapons, conducted multiple tests, and produced several Nuclear weapons.