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“The US strengthens its security commitment to Korea using every means available”

The fourth South Korea and US Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group meeting took place

The joint statement released reaffirmed a solid ROK-US Alliance

Vice Defense Minister Shin visited the Navy 2nd Fleet and went on board the new Cheonan warship


Korea and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to use all available leversincluding diplomatic, informational, military, and economic toolsto strengthen deterrence against the growing nuclear and missile threats from the North. They expressed serious concern over military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, which is not consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR).


On September 15, the 4th South Korea and US Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) meeting was held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Jongro-gu, Seoul and a joint statement was released.


The EDSCG is a high-level annual consultation group created to discuss policy and strategic issues between South Korea and the United States. Both countries reactivated the EDSCG last May, based on a statement from a summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and US President Joseph R. Biden. The third EDSCG meeting was held in Washington in September 2022, four years and eight months after the second meeting, and the fourth meeting took place in Seoul. This was the first time such a meeting was held in Korea.


On September 15, aboard the new Cheonan warship (F


The meeting was attended by Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Chang Ho-jin, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins. At the meeting, the two countries had comprehensive discussions on strategic and policy issues to strengthen the deterrence of the alliance on the Korean Peninsula and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.


The joint press release said, “Both sides shared their assessments and concerns about North Korea’s threatening and irresponsible rhetoric and behavior, including its ongoing missile launches and continued pursuit of destabilizing and illicit WMD and ballistic missile programs. They reaffirmed the commitment to use all available means to strengthen deterrence and reinforce the US security commitment to Korea.


“Regarding progress made to strengthen the extended deterrence through the April 2023 Washington Declaration and establishment of the South Korea-US Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) in July, the United States and Korea reviewed their ongoing bilateral cooperation to deter North Korea’s nuclear and non-nuclear aggression and thus to enhance security on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, and discussed various measures to further strengthen the alliance’s deterrence and defense posture.


“"They emphasized that the North’s unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches, including multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and space launches using ballistic missile technology, seriously undermine regional and global security. The two sides agreed to enhance coordination further to address North Korea’s sanctions evasion and illicit cyber activities.”


The joint statement further said, “South Korea and the United States expressed their utmost concern about North Korea-Russia cooperation, and discussed its implications for the North’s attempts to advance its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as the threat posed by assistance from North Korea to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. Both sides concurred on the importance of upholding and fully implementing all relevant UNSCR.


“In the context of North Korea’s escalating threats to regional stability, partly facilitated by third parties shielding the North from consequences for its blatant UNSCR violations, the United States underlined its ironclad and unwavering security commitment to South Korea. Using the full range of US defense capabilities, including nuclear, conventional, missile defense, and other advanced non-nuclear capabilities, the United States is dedicated to providing extended deterrence for South Korea.


“Both sides reaffirmed that any nuclear attack against South Korea by North Korea will be met with a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response.”


Following the EDSCG meeting, Vice Defense Minister Shin and defense and diplomatic officials of both countries visited the Navy 2nd Fleet Command. They were accompanied by Kim Jun-pyo, Director-General for North American Affairs at Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Cara Allison Marshall, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia; and Alexandra Bell, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the US State Department.


They visited the West Sea Protection Hall at the Navy 2nd Fleet Command and learned about the Navy’s unwavering commitment and history of defending territorial waters against North Korean provocations. They also paid tribute at the memorial monument for the 46 soldiers of the old Cheonan warship who sacrificed their lives defending South Korea. They boarded the new Cheonan warship (FFG-826), built as a convoy, and observed its enhanced functions and dignified appearance.


The participants said, “The advanced combat power of the new Cheonan warship demonstrates the capability of the alliance to further strengthen strong combined defense readiness and make a decisive response to any threats, and this visit allowed us to reaffirm the ironclad combined defense readiness posture of the alliance and pledge to collaborate to further strengthen extended deterrence execution to effectively deter any aggression by the North.”

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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