A senior U.S. defense official said that the Nuclear Consultative Group(NCG) will upgrade nuclear discussions between South Korea and the United States to a new level.
Siddharth Mohandas, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, made the remarks on Thursday during a seminar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
The official said that the NCG will upgrade the allies' discussions on nuclear threats and nuclear scenarios to a new level in which the two sides can share their assessments and discuss response measures for various contingency situations.
Mentioning the Washington Declaration, which calls for the establishment of the NCG, the U.S. official said that the declaration includes the U.S. commitment to consult South Korea at the highest level in the event that the use of nuclear weapons is required on the Korean Peninsula.
He also said that the U.S. deterrence against North Korean threats begins with conventional capabilities, including some 28-thousand-500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.
President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to create the NCG during their summit in Washington last month as a means of bolstering the U.S. "extended deterrence" commitment to defending South Korea with the full range of military capabilities, including nuclear weapons.