On the 3rd (local time), the US administration emphasized the joint efforts of South Korea and the US to respond to the North Korean nuclear issue, and explained again the stance of the two countries' response to the North Korean nuclear issue.

In a briefing that day, White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre asked for specifics on what President Joe Biden had said the day before, saying, "I want to be very clear. We are not discussing joint nuclear exercises. Korea It is a non-nuclear weapon state," he said.

Spokesperson Jean-Pierre noted, "However, President Biden and President Seok-Yeol Yoon met in Cambodia (in November) and instructed their teams to devise effective and coordinated response plans for various scenarios, including North Korea's use of nuclear weapons." .

He added, "That's what those teams are working on, and that's what President Yoon clearly mentioned yesterday (in a media interview)."

"The United States is fully committed to our alliance with South Korea, providing extended deterrence through all of our defense capabilities," he reiterated.

State Department spokesman Ned Price also said at a briefing that day, "We have committed to extended deterrence that includes all US defense assets to South Korea and other allies."

"The two leaders instructed us to plan effective joint countermeasures against scenarios involving North Korea's use of nuclear weapons," he said. "We take extended deterrence very seriously and will continue discussions."

When asked if there is a difference in perception between the two countries regarding the joint nuclear exercise, he said, "Ask the Korean government for the Korean view," but emphasized, "In regards to extended deterrence, we are exactly in agreement."

He also noted that "our commitment to the defense of Korea and Japan is at the heart of bilateral and trilateral dialogue."

Earlier, on his way back to the White House from vacation the previous day, President Biden answered only "No" to the reporter's question, "Are you discussing a joint nuclear exercise with South Korea?"

As the specific meaning of 'No' became unclear, it conflicted with President Yoon's comment in a media interview reported on the same day, "We are discussing the concept of joint planning and joint exercises for nuclear weapons with the US to effectively deter expansion, and the US is also quite positive." It was pointed out that it did, and it caused controversy.

However, a spokesperson for the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House later told Yonhap News that South Korea is not discussing joint nuclear exercises because it is a non-nuclear state.

It was interpreted to mean that President Biden said no because he considered the 'joint nuclear exercise' to be a practice between nuclear powers.

"The United States is fully committed to providing extended deterrence to South Korea by mobilizing its alliance with South Korea and its full range of defense capabilities," the NSC said.

A senior U.S. official also said, “The U.S. and South Korea are working together to strengthen extended deterrence.” Mock training) is also included,” he said.

"This coincides with President Yoon Seok-yeol's statement that the United States and South Korea will expand planning, information sharing, exercises, and training," he stressed.

(Photo = Getty Image Korea)