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Joint statement on the results of the 3rd meeting of EDSCG

Strengthen ‘extended deterrence’ by leveraging full range of military capabilities

Expressed concerns over the increase in tensions caused by North Korea’s use of a nuclear weapon

Strengthen bilateral cooperation to deploy and exercise strategic assets in the region

Joint statement on the results of the 3rd meeting

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States (US) have agreed to respond overwhelmingly and decisively to any nuclear attack from North Korea. To this end, the two countries agreed to strengthen ‘extended deterrence’ by leveraging the full range of military capabilities, including nuclear, conventional weapons, missile defense system, and space and cyber. As a nuclear strategy, ‘extended deterrence’ is the US’s commitment to proactively ‘deter’ North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons by ‘extending’ the US’s military force into the Korean Peninsula.


The two countries made the joint statement on September 16 (local time), after holding the 3rd high-level meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) in Washington D.C.


EDSCG is a consultative group that holds comprehensive discussions on policy and strategy issues, with the goal of strengthening stability in the Indo-Pacific region, including on the Korean Peninsula. It was resumed four years and eight months after its second meeting in January 2018. This meeting was attended by Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beom-chul, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyeon-dong, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins.


The two sides expressed their “serious concerns over North Korea’s escalatory and destabilizing message related to its use of nuclear weapons, including its adoption of the new nuclear policy law,” the joint statement said, stressing that the two sides have “pledged to continue their effort to use every factor of the national power of the two countries in order to strengthen the alliance’s deterrence posture.” The joint statement includes the language: “The two countries have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation to deploy and exercise strategic assets in the region in a timely and effective manner in order to deter and counter North Korea and enhance regional security,” and stresses that “the combined aerial exercise between F35-A fifth-generation stealth fighter jets last July and the upcoming deployment of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group on the Korean Peninsula are a clear demonstration of such US commitment.” “To strengthen the extended deterrence, the two countries agreed to strengthen and enhance bilateral cooperation in the table-top exercise (TTX) to respond to the North Korean nuclear threats on a gravity basis and in the areas of space and cyber,” the joint statement added.


“The two countries are coordinating closely, and stand ready for all possible scenarios,” the joint statement said, stressing that any North Korean nuclear test would be met with a “strong and resolute pan-governmental response.”


The two sides also made the assessment that “the EDSCG delegation’s tour inspection of B-52 strategic bombers contributed substantively to strengthening alliance deterrence, as well as an enhanced shared understanding and effectiveness of the US extended deterrence.” See page 3 of the relevant article.


“The two sides also agreed to hold a high-level EDSCG meeting annually. Working-level talks will be held during the first half of next year to prepare for the next high-level EDSCG meeting,” the joint statement said.


Pursuing ‘extended deterrence’ military diplomacy by confirming US strategic assets

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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