The Korea Herald


S. Korea, US agree to strengthen cooperation against N. Korean nuke, WMD threats

By Yonhap

Published : July 14, 2023 - 09:47

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Defense officials of South Korea and the United States have agreed to reinforce joint efforts to address threats from North Korea's nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction during their talks in Washington, Seoul's defense ministry said Friday.

Kim Sung-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 Counter WMD Committee session on Wednesday and Thursday.

The meeting came as tensions flared anew due to Pyongyang's hawkish rhetoric against the US over American spy plane operations and its launch of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this week.

The two sides agreed to expand the scope of information sharing regarding wartime operations to remove North Korea's nuclear and other WMDs, and strengthen cooperation in crafting procedures used to protect the allies, minimize damage and sustain war execution functions in the event of the North using WMDs, according to the ministry.

They shared the need for joint efforts to address potential biological threats in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks, and agreed to seek to expand the participation of more government agencies in next year's combined training on chemical, biological and nuclear threats.

"The representatives of the South and the US shared the assessment that the meeting this time contributed substantively to further strengthening cooperation in responses to North Korean nuclear and WMD threats," the ministry said in a press release. (Yonhap)