Biden, South Korean President Reveal Plan To Counter North Korea

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol reached an agreement to dock U.S. nuclear-armed submarines in South Korea for the first time in 40 years on Wednesday.

Biden hosted Yoon at the White House for a state visit marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S.- Republic of Korea bilateral alliance. The two leaders visited the Korean War memorial, held a bilateral meeting, participated in a joint press conference and are set to dine at a state dinner.

The submarine dock comes amid increased nuclear threats from North Korea and an increased commitment from the U.S. and South Korea to ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific. (RELATED: North Korea Drills ‘Nuclear Counterattack,’ Appears To Launch Missile From Silo)

In exchange for one of the critical components of the “Washington Declaration,” Yoon reaffirmed South Korea’s commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which prohibits countries from developing their own nuclear weapons, the White House said in a statement.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 26: U.S. President Joe Biden (R) and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol arrive for a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, April 26, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden is hosting President Yoon on his first visit to the United States as the two nations have reached a nuclear weapons agreement. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The U.S. also promised to consult with South Korea before employing any nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, and the two leaders formed the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) to discuss growing threats from North Korea.

A reporter asked Biden if South Korea’s commitment to not having nuclear weapons will be enough to stop North Korea from launching an attack.

“Look, a nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partisans — partners — is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime, were it to take such an action,” Biden said.

“The idea that I have absolute authority as Commander-in-Chief and the sole authority to use a nuclear weapon. But, you know, what the declaration means is that we’re going make every effort to consult with our allies when it’s appropriate if any actions are so called for,” he added.