Washington and Seoul to hold simulation exercises focusing on possible nuclear threats

Washington and Seoul will hold tabletop exercises focused on possible nuclear threats

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The United States and South Korea will conduct simulation exercises focusing on nuclear threats, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday.

Washington and Seoul will conduct “exercises based on increasingly complex scenarios [bearing] on the nuclear threats to which the peninsula is subject,” Mr. Austin wrote in a column published by the Yonhap news agency.  

Mr. Austin is visiting Seoul for the third time as Secretary of Defense. He will meet his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-sup, as well as President Yoon Suk-yeol. 

His visit aims to deepen cooperation between the two countries, discuss challenges security and to reaffirm how unwavering “the expanded US deterrence commitment to the Republic of Korea is,” Austin said.

Military tensions in the Southern Peninsula -Korean forces have increased sharply in 2022, with frequent weapons tests, including of its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, which run counter to international sanctions. 

In addition, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently called for an “exponential” increase in Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal, and last year called the North's nuclear power status “irreversible”.