Seoul and Washington will discuss how to strengthen the U.S. defense commitment for South Korea against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats during their annual Security Consultative Meeting(SCM) on Thursday.
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said on Wednesday that he expects the issue of a permanent deployment of U.S. strategic assets in the South will top the agenda at the talks between the defense ministers of the two countries at the Pentagon. Yun declined to discuss the matter in detail.
The remarks came during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after the two foreign ministers wrapped up the 'two-plus-two' ministerial talks in Washington D.C., along with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
It is believed that working-level officials from the two allies are discussing plans to deploy a B-1B Lancer supersonic long-range bomber or an Aegis-class destroyer in South Korea.
Asked about the chance of whether South Korea will arm itself with nuclear weapons as a deterrence measure, Yun dismissed it, saying South Korea has observed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) better than many other countries.
He added South Korea is also among the most advanced countries peacefully using nuclear power as evidenced by Washington’s consent to a revised nuclear accord with South Korea, which went into effect last year.