At next week’s summit between President Joe Biden and South Korean leader Yoon Suk-yeol, the United States will pledge “substantial” steps to underline its commitment to deter a North Korean nuclear attack on South Korea, a senior official said.
“We are working extraordinarily and intensively with the South Koreans to take the necessary steps to support both public perception and reality,” the official told Reuters ahead of Yun’s summit with Biden next Wednesday.
One of America’s greatest achievements, the official said, is that many countries in the Indo-Pacific that could develop nuclear weapons have not. region.
“We are very clear that our commitment to that nuclear deterrent is ironclad for South Korea,” said the official, who declined to be named.
“President Biden … will take substantial steps to underline, to reinforce, to make clear to everyone that our commitment to South Korea is in no doubt, even in the face of North Korea’s provocations,” the official did not elaborate. .
Yoon’s state visit to the US next week comes as South Koreans have said their country must develop its own nuclear arsenal to counter an attack by nuclear-armed North Korea and its growing arsenal of missiles and bombs.
An April 6 poll by the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul found that 64.3% of South Koreans supported developing nuclear weapons, while 33.3% opposed it.
The survey found that 52.9% of South Koreans believe the US would use nuclear weapons to defend South Korea in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack. But when respondents were asked whether they thought the United States would risk their security to protect South Korea, that number dropped to 43.1%, with 54.2% saying the United States would not take such risks.
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