nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

US and South Korea hold talks on “nuclear sharing”.

the US Council for Foreign Relations highlighted a proposal to establish an Asian Nuclear Planning Group, “mirroring the format of the NATO Nuclear Planning Group, that would provide a platform for South Korea, Japan, and Australia to discuss policies regarding US nuclear forces and the US nuclear planning process.”

What is underway not just in South Korea are high level discussions to integrate US allies throughout the region with the US military as preparations accelerate for a potentially catastrophic war with China that would inevitably involve the use of nuclear weapons.

Peter Symond WSWS 5 Jan 23

The US and South Korea are actively discussing closer collaboration in the deployment and potential use of nuclear weapons, which is part of the far broader US-led military build-up throughout the region. While nominally directed against North Korea, US war preparations including with South Korea are above all aimed at China.

In an interview in the Chosun Ilbo newspaper on Monday, South Korea’s right-wing president, Yoon Suk Yeol, said the discussions had focussed on joint planning and exercises with American nuclear forces. He described the arrangements being discussed as being “as good as nuclear-sharing”—a phrase, he said, that Washington was uncomfortable with……….

When asked at the White House whether joint nuclear military exercises with South Korea were being planned, President Biden flatly declared “no” and made no further comment. However, subsequent comments by American officials make clear that the closer integration of South Korea into US preparations for nuclear war is indeed under way……………………….

The discussions mark a significant escalation in the preparations for nuclear war. While South Korea, a US military ally, was protected by the so-called nuclear umbrella or what is known as “extended deterrence,” Yoon is pushing for a greater South Korean say in the use of nuclear weapons.

In his interview, Yoon declared: “What we call ‘extended deterrence’ means that the United States will take care of everything, so South Korea should not worry about it… But now, it is difficult to convince our people with just this idea.”…………….

Throughout much of the Cold War, the US had hundreds of tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea supposedly to counter a North Korean invasion. The number peaked at 950 during the mid-1960s before declining. In 1991, amid the moves to dissolve the Soviet Union, US President George H.W. Bush announced the return of all tactical nuclear weapons to the US, including those that remained in South Korea.

While Yoon has not publicly repeated his proposals as president, there have already been significant steps to a greater US nuclear presence in South Korea. In a joint press conference last November, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop announced plans for the de facto permanent stationing of US nuclear-capable assets in South Korea for the first time since 1991………….

As far as Washington is concerned, the North Korean “threat” is a convenient pretext as its nuclear planning is primarily focussed on war with China. Strategically located close to the Chinese mainland, South Korea is deeply integrated into the US strategy for such a conflict. Not only does it house key US military bases and some 28,500 military personnel but it also has a key anti-ballistic missile system—a recently upgraded Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system—critical in any nuclear conflict.

The US is boosting its nuclear weapons capacity throughout the region with the announcement last year that it will effectively station nuclear-capable B-52 bombers at the Tindal air force base in Northern Australia. At the same time, prior to his assassination last July, former Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, initiated a discussion in ruling circles about stationing US nuclear weapons in Japan, despite enormous popular opposition to such a move.

The Biden administration has already taken steps to strengthen its military alliances in the Indo-Pacific by kickstarting the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or “Quad” with Japan, Australia and India as well as initiating the AUKUS pact with Australia and the United Kingdom, which, in particular, will arm Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines. At the same time, it has sought to strengthen intelligence sharing between South Korea and Japan, essential in any nuclear conflict.

Broader “nuclear sharing” is also being discussed in US strategic think tanks. A comment published last August by the US Council for Foreign Relations highlighted a proposal to establish an Asian Nuclear Planning Group, “mirroring the format of the NATO Nuclear Planning Group, that would provide a platform for South Korea, Japan, and Australia to discuss policies regarding US nuclear forces and the US nuclear planning process.”

What is underway not just in South Korea are high level discussions to integrate US allies throughout the region with the US military as preparations accelerate for a potentially catastrophic war with China that would inevitably involve the use of nuclear weapons. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/05/tzjb-j05.html

January 5, 2023 - Posted by | politics international, South Korea, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: