U.S. defense act requires maintenance of 28,500 U.S. troops in S. Korea

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have reached an agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will require the U.S. government to maintain a minimum of 28,500 U.S. service members in South Korea.

The text of the NDAA for the fiscal year 2023, released Tuesday, also calls on the defense secretary to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to providing extended deterrence to South Korea.

The NDAA calls on the defense secretary to reinforce the U.S alliance with South Korea, “including by maintaining the presence of approximately 28,500 members of the United States Armed Forces deployed to the country and affirming the United States commitment to extended deterrence using the full range of United States defense capabilities, consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea,” referring to South Korea by its official name.

The act also calls on the defense secretary to evaluate threats posed by North Korea and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

It, if enacted, will require the defense secretary to submit an analysis report on “the current and future theater nuclear capabilities and doctrines of Russia, China and North Korea” within 270 days of its enactment.

It also says the secretary of defense “shall conduct an analysis of the use or potential use of unmanned aerial system swarms by adversaries, including the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, and non-state actors.”

The bill becomes law when signed by the president.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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