U.S. to send nuclear submarines in new pledge to protect South Korea from North’s threats

The United States will deploy nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea for the first time in decades — part of a new agreement that will signal Washington’s commitment to defend Seoul against rising nuclear threats from North Korea, U.S. officials said.

The plan to dock the ballistic missile submarines in South Korea, which hasn’t happened since the 1980s, headlines an effort to make U.S. deterrence against Kim Jong Un’s regime “more visible,” according to senior administration officials. It will also see the U.S. vow to give its ally a greater role in any response to a potential nuclear attack.

President Joe Biden and his counterpart, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, will unveil the new agreement in Washington on Wednesday, the officials said.

The Washington Declaration, as it’s known, won’t involve the U.S. deploying nuclear weapons to the South, as it did during the Cold War, the officials said. Instead the U.S. will increase the number of military assets it sends to the country on a temporary basis, such as a nuclear-armed submarine and bombers.


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