Pentagon Official Affirms Strong U.S. Deterrence Commitment to South Korea

WASHINGTON — A U.S. defense official expressed confidence on Wednesday in the robustness of America's "extended deterrence" commitment to South Korea, indicating the strategic alliance has never been stronger.

As reported by Yonhap News Agency, Richard Johnson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and countering weapons of mass destruction policy, spoke about the allies' concerted efforts to bolster the U.S. commitment to using its full range of military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend South Korea. These efforts were formalized in the Washington Declaration, adopted during the White House summit between Presidents Yoon Suk Yeol and Joe Biden in April. Johnson encouraged the public to read the declaration to understand the ongoing implementation.

Johnson's remarks were made during a forum hosted by the Brookings Institution. At the same event, Robert Einhorn, a former U.S. State Department adviser on nonproliferation and arms controls, emphasized the need for engagement with North Korea to minimize risks of accidental conflict. Einhorn recommended a shift in focus from denuclearization to risk reduction and confidence-building communications.

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