Anchor: South Korea and the United States have agreed to establish a consultative body to discuss how to effectively put to use the U.S.' "extended deterrence" commitment for its Asian ally against North Korea's threats. The agreement was made during the biennial 'two-plus-two' security talks in Washington on Wednesday. The two sides on Thursday are set to discuss the extended deterrence further in detail at the annual Security Consultative Meeting.
Kim Bum-soo reports.
Report: [Sound bite: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry]
"I assured the minister of our commitment... to defend South Korea through a robust combined defense posture and through extended deterrence, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional strike and missile defense capabilities."
Foreign and defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States held their 'two-plus-two talks' in Washington on Wednesday and agreed to establish the "Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group."
The vice-minister-level dialogue will be a venue of discussing how to employ the U.S.' extended deterrence more effectively against growing North Korean nuclear threats.
While announcing the strengthened U.S. commitment to use nuclear weapons to deter attacks on South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se also sent a warning message to Pyongyang.
[Sound bite: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry]
"Let me be clear. Any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with an effective and overwhelming response."
“The United States has the power to wipe out North Korea for years. For Years! And if, indeed, that was our goal, we wouldn’t be sitting around and waiting while they are growing additional nuclear weapons.”
The two sides also cautioned that if the North continues to violate international law by pursuing its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, it will come under even stiffer sanctions and fall further behind while the rest of the region prospers.
[Sound bite: Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (Korean)]
"South Korea and the U.S. agreed that North Korea must pay unendurable price if it does not give up its nuclear program and for that the two side will take all possible options to impose sanctions and pressure on North Korea."
At the meeting that came after the North's most powerful nuclear test last month and a series of ballistic missile launches, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stressed that his military is ready to defend South Korea by all means.
[Sound bite: U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter]
"The U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea is unwavering. This includes our commitment to provide extended deterrence, guaranteed by the full spectrum... "
Seoul's foreign minister told reporters that the defense ministers of the two sides will discuss details of the extended deterrence during their annual Security Consultative Meeting(SCM) on Thursday in Washington.
Sources said that working-level officials of Seoul and Washington have already begun coordinating the deployment of U.S. strategic assets, including B-1B bombers and nuclear-powered submarines, on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.