Posted October. 30, 2017 07:52,
Updated October. 30, 2017 08:05
The United States is likely to step up its pressure on Pyongyang as U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his South Korean counterpart Song Young-moo have agreed to expand the rotational deployment of U.S. strategic assets at the 49th Security Consultative Meeting at the Defense Ministry in Yongsan, Seoul on Saturday, which was held for the first time since the new administrations took office in both countries.
Saying that high-level armed protests are an effective method to deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations, defense chiefs of the two allies have agreed to deploy U.S. strategic assets including its strategic bombers and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers “more boldly and frequently” on the Korean Peninsula so that these assets can be effectively deployed on a permanent basis. At the annual security dialogue, Seoul’s Defense Ministry reportedly requested that Washington increase the number of times it sends strategic weapons, promising to provide needed support for maintenance or oil in case of emergency.
“With the United States conducting armed protests as if in an actual battle, the North seems to be more cautious in staging provocations,” an official at the South Korean Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The two defense ministers have also agreed to expedite the preparation works to scrap warhead weight limits for South Korean ballistic missiles, which was agreed upon by South Korean and U.S. presidents early last month.