South Korea, US plan February nuclear tabletop drills

TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (MNA) – South Korea and the US will hold tabletop exercises next month involving the American extended deterrence effort as the allies move to better counter the North's nuclear threats, South Korea's defence minister said.

Nuclear-armed North Korea launched an unprecedented number of missiles last year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland. US and South Korean officials have also warned the North could be preparing for its first test of a nuclear device since 2017.

Officials in both capitals said they were in talks to improve joint nuclear planning and implementation, boost information sharing and launch tabletop exercises, but the timing had not yet been finalised.

"We're planning to hold tabletop exercises in February between defence officials on operating means of extended deterrence under the scenario of North Korea's nuclear attacks," South Korean defence minister Lee Jong-sup told a news conference, Devdiscourse reported.

In May, the two countries' militaries will stage separate tabletop exercises for the first time, which will be "far more concrete and substantive" than the February programmes for policymakers, Lee said.

Lee's remarks came shortly after the defence and foreign ministries held a New Year policy briefing for President Yoon Suk-yeol, focusing on ways to ramp up South Korea's capability to fend off the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats.


News Code 196033


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