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Sung Kim looks forward to strengthened US extended deterrence commitment in Yoon-Biden summit

April 25, 2023 - 21:40 By Im Eun-byel
US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim at the Asan Plenum 2023 conference held in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim on Tuesday expressed his expectation that the leaders of the US and South Korea would exhibit their commitments to a stronger extended deterrence against Pyongyang's nuclear threats at an upcoming summit this week.

President Yoon Suk Yeol and US President Joe Biden are scheduled to hold a summit at the White House on Wednesday (Washington time), in which they are expected to sign a joint statement on measures to enhance extended deterrence, or the U.S. commitment to mobilizing the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.

"I don't want to get ahead of our leaders, who will be meeting soon, but I think it's clear that this will be a very prominent topic for our two leaders," he said at the Asan Plenum 2023 conference, hosted by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, in Seoul.

"And Jake Sullivan, our national security adviser, already indicated that what comes out of the summit will very clearly convey our sense of commitment, extended deterrence commitment to the ROK (Republic of Korea). So we're looking forward to that."

The US is "continuing to work on how we can strengthen our extended deterrence commitment to the ROK and ROK citizens," he added.

The envoy also stressed the US commitment to seeking denuclearization and a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through diplomacy remains "unwavering."

"We remain determined to do so despite the fact that we have seen no indication of interest in Pyongyang's part to engage in a meaningful dialogue with us, but we will not be deterred," he said.

Earlier in the day, Sullivan told a White House press briefing that Yoon and Biden will announce "major deliverables" on ways to strengthen US extended deterrence commitment to South Korea at their summit.