Biden and Yoon of South Korea sign a new nuclear weapons treaty.
US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have reached a historic agreement that includes plans to deploy US nuclear-armed submarines in South Korea on a regular basis.
Washington has also committed to include Seoul in any nuclear-weapons strategy against North Korea.
In exchange, South Korea committed not to build its own nuclear weapons.
According to Mr. Biden, the agreement, known as the Washington Declaration, will increase the allies’ cooperation in deterring a North Korean strike.
He remarked at a joint press conference with Mr Yoon on Wednesday, who is in Washington this week to discuss problems such as the Ukraine conflict, climate change, cyber cooperation, and nuclear power.
The South Korean leader described the Washington Declaration, the centerpiece of this week’s state visit, as a “unprecedented” step toward enhancing extended deterrence, the US resolve to deter assaults and safeguard US allies with military might, including nuclear weapons.
The proclamation comes amid growing anxiety over North Korea’s nuclear threats, as the country conducts a record number of ballistic missile launches.
“It’s about increasing deterrence in response to the DPRK’s [North Korea’s] escalatory behavior,” Biden explained.
The new agreement is the culmination of months of negotiations, according to senior administration officials who spoke to reporters this week.
According to authorities, the US will strive to “make its deterrence more visible through the regular deployment of strategic assets, including a US nuclear ballistic submarine visit to South Korea, which has not happened since the early 1980s” under the agreement.
In addition, the two parties will form a Nuclear Consultative Group to discuss nuclear and strategic planning concerns.
Politicians in Seoul have long urged Washington to include them in discussions about how and when to use nuclear weapons against North Korea.
South Koreans have become suspicious of being kept in the dark about what would lead Mr Biden to press the nuclear button on their behalf as North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has expanded in size and complexity. Fears that the United States may abandon Seoul have prompted calls for South Korea to acquire its own nuclear weapons.