South Korea and U.S. to Host Third Nuclear Strategy Meeting in Seoul

SEOUL - The defense ministries of South Korea and the United States are set to preside over the third Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) meeting in Seoul this June. The gathering aims to further a joint nuclear deterrence strategy against North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Cho Chang-rae, South Korea's deputy defense minister for policy, and Vipin Narang, the principal U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, formalized the NCG's operational framework at the Pentagon on Monday. The NCG, a product of the Washington Declaration signed by President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden in April 2023, seeks to bolster deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. Previous sessions were convened by the National Security Councils of both nations, with participation from defense, foreign policy, military, and intelligence officials. The upcoming meeting in Seoul will outline guidelines covering information sharing, security systems, nuclear crisis consultation procedures, and the operation of a real-time communication channel between leaders. These guidelines are slated for implementation during the Ulchi Freedom Shield, an annual joint military drill in August. The initiative comes amid ongoing tensions on the K orean Peninsula, with North Korea continuing its advancement of nuclear and missile capabilities, including the testing of new missile types designed to carry nuclear warheads. South Korean officials have indicated that North Korea is prepared to conduct further nuclear tests, dependent on the strategic decisions of its leader, Kim Jong-un.

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