21 December 2009

US-SK Updating Defense "guidelines"

New defense guidelines? Wonder if they're a reaction to the missing files that were hacked...

South Korea and the United States are discussing a plan to draw up "defense guidelines" next year in a bid to upgrade bilateral defense cooperation, according to defense and foreign ministry officials Wednesday.

The guidelines, similar to the U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines established in 1996, would include key measures to strengthen military cooperation between the militaries, they said.

Among the topics are U.S. reinforcement plans in case of a war on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. nuclear umbrella for South Korea and the stable presence of U.S. forces in Korea.

"The defense guidelines will be part of follow-up measures to materialize the Korea-U.S. alliance joint vision adopted at the summit between Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Barack Obama," an official at the Ministry of National Defense said. "The guidelines would include a comprehensive package of measures on how the two nations are to cooperate in the event of war on the peninsula."

In the summit meeting in Washington, D.C., Obama said the U.S. government would provide an extended nuclear umbrella to South Korea in response to increasing nuclear threats from the North.

Lee and Obama adopted a "joint vision for the ROK-US alliance" that calls for building a broader, strategic partnership in the realms of politics, economy, culture and other areas beyond the security arena.

In the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Seoul, Oct. 22, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed the increased defense cooperation with South Korea. In a joint communique issued at the end of the annual meeting, Gates reaffirmed "the U.S. commitment to provide extended deterrence for the ROK, using the full range of military capabilities, to include the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional strike and missile defense capabilities."

Official United States Forces Korea (USFK) Website
Units of the 8th United States Army, in Korea.

By: Brant

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