South Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-seop spoke highly of the “Washington Declaration” recently issued by the United States and South Korea on May 1, saying that it can be regarded as the second “Korea-US Mutual Defence Treaty” and “is of great significance.” “. Prior to this, the US-South Korea agreement had caused dissatisfaction among many parties. Kim Yo-jong, vice minister of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, criticised on April 28 that the “Washington Declaration” would “force the peace and security of Northeast Asia and the world to become more serious.”
According to the report, Lee Jong-seop made the above evaluation in an article published by the Korean media “Daily Economic” that day. With regard to South Korea and the United States agreeing to set up a new “extended deterrence” consultation mechanism called the “nuclear consultation group”, Lee Jong-sub said that the US side’s move is equivalent to a commitment to “extended deterrence” in all aspects of intelligence sharing, consultation, planning, and implementation. All military forces in the country maintain cooperation with the South Korean side.
According to the report, regarding the content of the “Washington Declaration” containing “US strategic nuclear submarine visits to South Korea”, Lee Jong-seop said that this move aims to clarify the deployment of strategic weapons by the United States to the Korean peninsula, thereby achieving the effect equivalent to deploying conventional nuclear weapons in South Korea. The United States protects South Korea from using the most reliable “extended deterrence” system.
With regard to the increasing calls for South Korea’s independent nuclear weapons, Lee Jong-sub claimed that some views proposed redeploying U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea or that South Korea should have independent nuclear weapons, but considering the impact of these plans on international politics and economy, as well as military In terms of effectiveness, the current plan that is most in line with national interests is to enhance the execution of “extended deterrence” and strengthen the “Korea-type three-axis system.” The “South Korea-type three-axis system” refers to the “kill chain system” that preemptively strikes enemy missile launchers, the “South Korea-type missile defence system” that intercepts incoming missiles, and the “large-scale retaliation combat plan” that strikes at the North Korean command.
On April 26, local time, after South Korean President Yoon Seok-yue and US President Biden held talks in Washington, the two sides issued the “Washington Declaration.” The declaration stated that it will expand consultations on the US-ROK nuclear crisis, add new US-ROK military training and simulated exercises, establish a “US-ROK nuclear consultation group” mechanism, and expand the deployment of US strategic assets around the peninsula. In this regard, Kim Yo Jong, vice minister of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, issued a statement through the Korean Central News Agency on the 28th. She criticised that the “Washington Declaration” “concentrates on the most aggressive hostile intentions and the heinous hostile policy against North Korea.” , “It will force the peace and security of Northeast Asia and the world to be on the brink of a more serious danger.” She also said that the more crazily hostile forces are keen on nuclear war exercises and the more they deploy strategic nuclear assets on the Korean Peninsula, the more North Korea will increase its right to self-defence in direct proportion.
Regarding issues related to the “Washington Declaration”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference on April 27 that the United States insisted on making use of the peninsula issue to create tension in order to realise its own geopolitical self-interest and disregard regional security. The US approach is full of Cold War mentality, instigates confrontation between camps, undermines the nuclear non-proliferation system, damages the strategic interests of other countries, exacerbates tension on the peninsula, undermines regional peace and stability, and runs counter to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula. China firmly opposes this.
The U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defence Treaty was signed in Washington on October 1, 1953, and entered into force on November 18, 1954. The signing and entry into force of the treaty marked the formal formation of the US-ROK alliance.