Top S. Korean general, U.S. Army chief discuss deterrence against N. Korean threats

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum met with the visiting U.S. Army chief in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss bilateral cooperation against growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats, his office said.

The meeting between Kim and Gen. James C. McConville, the U.S. Army's chief of staff, came after President Yoon Suk Yeol and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, adopted the Washington Declaration -- entailing joint efforts to sharpen the credibility of America's extended deterrence -- at their White House summit last month.

Kim stressed that maintaining the robust bilateral alliance and the allies' combined defense posture is "crucial" in order to militarily support a set of initiatives included in the Washington Declaration, according to the JCS.

Among the initiatives were a plan to create the Nuclear Consultative Group to discuss nuclear and strategic planning issues and the U.S.' plan to enhance the "regular visibility" of America's strategic assets, including a nuclear ballistic missile submarine, to the Korean Peninsula.

McConville pledged to endeavor to ensure that U.S. Army assets can be deployed to the peninsula in a "timely" manner for the defense of South Korea, the JCS said in a press release.

"The Republic of Korea is the U.S.' strongest ally, and close cooperation is critical to maintain regional peace and stability," he was quoted as saying.

The two sides agreed to enhance the ability to execute the U.S.' extended deterrence "and more," while maintaining the alliance's readiness against enemy threats in order to realize an "alliance in action."

Extended deterrence refers to the U.S.' commitment to mobilizing the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.

Source: Yonhap News Agency