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S. Korea, US hold 2023 Counter WMD Committee

 S. Korea, US hold 2023 Counter WMD Committee

- Continuing efforts to develop the South Korea-US joint response to North Korea’s nuclear and WMD threats
- Pledged to strengthen cooperation regarding the elimination of the North’s nuclear weapons in the event of war and follow-up measures and expand the role of Korea

Korea’s Ministry of National Defense and the US Department of Defense held the 2023 South Korea-US Counter WMD Committee (CWMDC) meeting in Washington, D.C. from July 12 to 13, 2023.

Kim Seong-koo, Deputy Chief of the ministry’s Policy Planning Bureau, and Richard C. Johnson, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Countering WMD Policy, led the committee with officials related to nuclear and WMD response in attendance.  

Both sides shared information on North Korea's recent nuclear and WMD threats and discussed ways to strengthen the execution of a joint response.

They decided to expand the scope and level of information sharing regarding wartime operations to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons and WMD. Additionally, they agreed to strengthen cooperation to develop combined follow-up plans and procedures. These measures aim to protect the Alliance, minimize damage, and maintain war implementation capability in the event of damage from North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons and WMD.

Both countries emphasized the successful implementation of the 2023 Adaptive Shield, TTX, an exercise aimed at strengthening the combined defense posture and operational capabilities to counter North’s nuclear and WMD threats. Furthermore, they agreed to continue discussions on joint efforts for follow-up measures and ways to improve the effectiveness of the exercise.

Recognizing the need to respond to biological threats, including viruses after the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries arrived at an agreement to broaden the involvement of government agencies in responding and planning measures to simulated biological threats during the 2024 Adaptive Shield exercise.

They assessed progress in the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)* program designed to strengthen response capabilities to nuclear weapons and WMD and resolved to strengthen the Korean organization, manpower and expertise by extending areas of CTR.
*An international security program of the US Department of Defense aiming to strengthen allies’ capabilities to counter WMD threats (adopted in a joint statement of South Korea-US CTR program partnership in October 2019).

Both countries' representatives evaluated that this committee substantially contributed to strengthening cooperation to counter North Korea’s nuclear and WMD threats. They further committed to continuing their cooperative efforts to effectively deter and respond to threats from the North as necessary.


  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)