South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong says that the US has committed to deploying more “strategic” military assets around the Korean Peninsula. Such deployments are to start later this year.
Details are scant, but Chung suggested the deployment was meant to show that there wasn’t “any crack” between the US and the South Korean government amid mounting US tensions with North Korea.
Even the term “strategic assets” is deliberately vague. Historically it has referred to heavy military assets meant to attack population centers, in contrast to “tactical” weapons meant to be of specific use on the battlefield.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has insisted that he will not allow any US deployments of nuclear weapons into South Korea. This likely rules out a lot of such assets, though “strategic” assets could still include aircraft carriers and heavy bombers. The caveat that the deployments will be “near” the Korean Peninsula could mean the US is planning buildups in Guam and Japan as well.
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