A US think tank suggested that while the US strengthens extended deterrence to protect South Korea from the North Korean nuclear threat, it is necessary to begin related discussions in case tactical nuclear weapons need to be redeployed in South Korea.

On the 18th (local time), the Korean Peninsula Commission under the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report on North Korea policy and extended deterrence that South Korea's anxiety over extended deterrence has grown, but in the current situation, the United States is not relocating tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula or South Korea's He said the acquisition of nuclear weapons should not be tolerated.

However, in preparation for the possibility of redeploying low-yield nuclear weapons in South Korea at some point in the future, it was argued that it is necessary for both countries to review tabletop planning exercises related to the necessary preparatory work.

Planned training may include research on the environmental impact of redeployment, identification of locations to store nuclear weapons, joint training related to nuclear safety and security, certification work for USFK F-16 fighter jets to perform nuclear missions, and construction of nuclear weapons storage facilities. explained.

It was suggested that these discussions be held at the ROK-US working level, but the timing of redeployment and the type of weapon would be left ambiguous, and it should be made clear that the redeployment decision had not yet been made.

Physical preparations, such as the construction of nuclear storage facilities, were ordered to begin only if the North Korean nuclear threat continues to escalate even after all other measures to strengthen extended deterrence have been implemented.

The Commission has proposed various measures to strengthen extended deterrence.

He said the U.S. government should continue to publicly send out messages from the highest level that it will deliver on its extended deterrence commitment.

It was recommended that South Korea and the United States prepare for a nuclear attack by North Korea by creating a nuclear joint planning consultative body similar to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Nuclear Planning Group (NPG).

The committee said that it was necessary to continue dispatching senior Korean military liaison officers to the US Strategic Command as it is now, and to reactivate the high-level ROK-US Extended Deterrence Strategy Consultative Group (EDSCG).

In addition, it was proposed to simplify the procedure for South Korea to directly use the US missile early warning system, the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), using satellites.

The United States grants Israel and Japan this access, the committee added.

It also proposed a plan to form a multilateral nuclear umbrella with nuclear powers with similar positions, such as Britain and France.

It was recommended that the United States continue to demonstrate its strong extended deterrence capabilities by continuing to deploy nuclear cruise missile-equipped submarines or strategic bombers in the region and investing in facilities to accommodate US military nuclear-armed aircraft in South Korea.

Strengthening the ability to defend the U.S. mainland from North Korean missile attacks by accelerating the introduction of next-generation missile interception systems and investing in technology capable of intercepting missiles in the initial acceleration phase, and continuing long-range strike capabilities such as sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles ordered to be developed.

He then pointed out that the psychological aspect is as important as physical capacity in extended deterrence.

"For extended deterrence to be effective, South and North Korea must believe that the United States is willing to use extended deterrence to defend the alliance, even if it means putting Washington, D.C., or New York at risk to save Seoul or Tokyo," the committee said.

In that respect, he emphasized the importance of recognizing that Korea and the United States are a 'community of destiny'.

If North Korea attacks South Korea with nuclear weapons, the situation in which 28,500 US troops in Korea and numerous US civilians living in South Korea will inevitably suffer damage makes the US nuclear umbrella more reliable.

The committee saw that trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan is also important in strengthening extended deterrence.

The ROK, the US and Japan proposed a plan to coordinate strategic asset management among the three countries in a similar way to the 'Blue Lightning' exercise.

Blue Lightning is an exercise in procedures for carrying out missions by dispatching B-52H long-range bombers or B-1B strategic bombers deployed to the Anderson Air Base in Guam in the Pacific Ocean to the Korean Peninsula.

It is recommended that the ROK, the US and Japan resume the North Korea Policy Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) as a channel to discuss trilateral cooperation, and expand military cooperation through information sharing, anti-submarine warfare, missile defense, crisis response plans, and regularization of trilateral exercises. I did.

Regarding North Korea policy, he predicted that it would not be easy to achieve results through negotiations in a short period of time, but ordered preparation for the time when dialogue resumed.

The United States continued to convey its intention to 'dialogue without conditions' to North Korea, and recommended that the special representative for North Korea be appointed full-time.

The committee said that the United States should support South Korea's securing of the 'kill chain' capability, early deployment of the Korean Iron Dome, and additional deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

It was also suggested that South Korea consider securing nuclear-capable fighter jets and deploying them to US military bases such as Guam.

He also requested that the suspension of the ROK-US joint military exercises should not be made a target for trade with North Korea.

While strengthening the implementation of sanctions against North Korea, he ordered humanitarian aid to North Korea and attention to human rights issues, such as appointing a US special envoy for North Korean human rights.

In a situation where it is difficult to expect China's cooperation, he said that the three countries should coordinate their response to China.

The CSIS Korean Peninsula Committee is co-chaired by CSIS Director John Hemley and Harvard University Professor Joseph Nye, CSIS Korean Chair Victor Cha, former National Security Council (NSC) Asia Advisor Catherine Katz, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and former USFK Commander Vincent Brooks. , Wendy Cutler, former Deputy US Trade Representative, and Robert Einhorn, former Special Assistant to the State Department for Nonproliferation and Disarmament.

(Photo = Yonhap News)