On Wednesday, U.S. Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, said that the United States and South Korea had devised a strategy for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and chemical weapons threat.
Chuck Hagel met with South Korea’s minister of defence, Kim Kwan Jin, at the 45th annual defence meeting between the two nations in Seoul. At the meeting, both officials signed a pact that would provide a “tailored deterrence” to North Korea’s threat. Neither men gave details as to exactly what the “tailored deterrence” entails, but Kim Kwan Jin went on to express deep concerns about North Korea’s three recent nuclear tests.
The US defense secretary was especially concerned with the underground nuclear test carried out in February by the North Koreans. The detonation was suspected to have advanced North Korea’s capabilities to strike the US with long-range missiles.
“It has increased its capabilities, its missile capabilities, its three nuclear tests. So that is constantly forcing a review of our strategies.” said Hagel. Hagel also went on to say that the U.S. would, if necessary, use all its military capabilities including nuclear capabilities should North Korea take any aggressive actions against South Korea.
The transfer of wartime control from U.S. to South Korean forces was another topic of discussion for Hagel and Kim. Eight years ago the U.S. committed to defending South Korea should they be attacked by the North Koreans. The target date for the transfer had been set for 2012 but was postponed till 2015 because the initial timing was not suitable.
Hagel said the U.S. would continue to work with South Korea and assess its military conditions and that the U.S. will not make any decision that is not in the interests of both nations.
Hagel concluded his visit to South Korea on Wednesday. His time was also spent commemorating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and South Korea and presiding over the transfer of command of U.S. forces in South Korea.
(photo via news.yahoo.com)