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3rd ROK-US High-Level Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group

Vice defense minister Shin Beom-chul visits the US;

Shin has consecutive meetings with US officials, including US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

3rd ROK-US High-Level Extended Deterrence Strategy

3rd ROK-US High-Level Extended Deterrence Strategy

On September 16 (local time), Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beom-chul met with high-level US officials and engaged in military diplomacy activities to strengthen the extended deterrence capabilities before the 3rd ROK-US high-level meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG).


Significantly, Shin personally assessed the US strategic assets to carry out its commitment to extended deterrence for the ROK during his visit to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.



During his visit to Joint Base Andrews,

Vice minister Shin checked US strategic assets, B-52 bombers



On September 15, Shin and the top United States (US) officials in charge of extended deterrence, including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space Policy Vipin Narang, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Siddharth Mohandas, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear and WMD Response Richard Johnson, visited Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Shin was briefed on the capabilities and operation systems of US strategic assets which will be deployed on the Korean Peninsula in the event of contingencies.


During the visit, Shin was briefed on US strategic assets, including B-52 strategic bombers, and the types and operation systems of nominal nuclear weapons.


Shin also checked the part under the wings of the B-52 bomber where a nuclear warhead is mounted. B-52 bombers are are known for being big enough to load nuclear warheads; they can load 12 AGM-129 cruise missiles and 20 AGM-86A cruise missiles.


“We have arranged a special time for the ROK delegation to check our strategic assets on the site in line with the purpose of the ROK-US high-level EDSCG,” a US representative said, stressing that “the US extended deterrence commitment to deter North Korea will be achieved using the full range of US military capabilities.”


“This visit was a good chance to confirm the strong capabilities of the US to fulfill its extended deterrence commitment to the ROK,” Shin said, stressing that “the US strategic assets are a definite means to show the US’s capabilities to the people of the ROK and North Korea.”



Shin meets with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks

Two sides discuss the main issues, including cooperation in North Korea policy



Shin also met with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, and the two exchanged opinions on the main issues, including cooperation in North Korea policy, enhancement of capabilities to carry out extended deterrence, and regional cooperation.


Shin and Hicks shared their views on the recent trend in North Korea and agreed to firmly maintain the combined defense posture on the basis of a firm ROK-US alliance. Significantly, they agreed to cooperate closely to substantively denuclearize North Korea. They also agreed that the aim of achieving stronger relations between the two countries was stronger now than under any other administration in history, and to continue developing bilateral relations.


On the sidelines of the EDSCG, the two sides also agreed to draw up more effective measures to strengthen the capabilities needed to carry out extended deterrence amid North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile provocations. Accordingly, the two sides agreed to cooperate with each other to develop the EDSCG into a sustainable consultative body which strengthens the alliance’s capabilities by operating an organic link with the existing related consultative bodies and creating synergies.



Vice minister Shin meets with US representative Joe Wilson

Shin calls for support of US Congress in ‘strengthening the ROK-US alliance’



Vice defense minister Shin also met with US representative Joe Wilson, who is a co-chair of the ‘Congressional Caucus on Korea,’ a group within the US Congress focused on ROK interests. Shin expressed his deep gratitude to Wilson for his legislative activities to strengthen the ROK-US alliance and his efforts to ensure the US commitment to extended deterrence is reflected in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Fiscal Year 2023, which was passed at the recent plenary session of the US Representatives.


Wilson pledged a favorable response on a US Congress level, saying that he felt the ROK government’s will to strengthen the ROK-US alliance while meeting with Minister Lee Jong-sup during his visit to the ROK last week. Wilson also added that he would “spare no efforts to strengthen the ROK-US combined defense posture,” noting that he had served on the US National Guard and experienced in the House Armed Services Committee. Wilson also expressed deep concerns over the ‘nuclear force policy’ which North Korea unveiled on September 9, and underscored that the “EDSCG meeting will serve as momentum for in-depth discussions on ways to strengthen the capabilities to carry out the US extended deterrence.


The two sides shared the view of the importance of the support and attention of Congress in a firmer ROK-US alliance, and agreed to continue cooperation in the process of developing the ROK-US alliance into a ‘global comprehensive strategic alliance.’



Vice minister Shin meets with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Shin expresses ROK government’s concerns over ‘Inflation Reduction Act’



Shin and First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyeon-dong met with US National Security Advisor (NSC) Jake Sullivan and expressed his gratitude for the NSC’s special attention and support for the early resumption of the EDSCG, an agreement between the leaders of the two countries.


“Strengthening the effectiveness of the extended deterrence and ROK-US cooperation is more important than ever before given the grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea’s advanced nuclear and missile threats,” Shin said. “Reaffirming the US’s firm extended deterrence commitment to the ROK, I hope we will have consultations on a specific and effective plan at the 3rd EDSCG meeting to be held tomorrow,” Sullivan replied. Shin also expressed our concerns and stance again on the “Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)” which has recently been passed by the US Congress. Shin also called for the US’s special attention and support for the ceremony to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US alliance to be held next year and the hosting of World Expo 2030 Busan.



Vice minister Shin visits US Cyber Command

Shin calls for close cooperation to counter North Korea’s cyber threats



During his visit to the United States (US) Cyber Command on September 16, Shin was briefed by deputy commander of the US Cyber Command Timothy Haugh on the US Cyber Command’s main capabilities and operation execution system, and the two sides discussed diverse ways to cooperate with each other, including the ROK-US joint execution of cyber operations.


“We need close cooperation between the two countries to block North Korea’s illegal cyber activities, including cyber terror, hacking and interdiction of funds,” Shin said, stressing the importance of cyber security as a main means of the US extended deterrence. Shin also called for the US Cyber Command’s proactive support so that cooperative relations can progress in a range of areas, including cyber-related information sharing, joint study and bilateral and multilateral joint exercises, on the basis of the joint recognition of North Korea’s cyber threats.


Significantly, Shin stressed the need to “expand the scope of cooperation, including joint operations, such as Hunt Forward, to prevent any damage from North Korea’s hacking force,” and reminded Haugh that the cyber commands of the two countries had agreed to strengthen their operational capabilities based on the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last August on the ROK-US Cyber Command.


In response, Haugh expressed his will to work closely to counter North Korea’s cyber threats, saying that he recognizes the importance of ROK-US cyber cooperation in building a combined defense posture.

 By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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