South Korea Foreign Minister touts US ‘extended deterrence’ after Blinken talks

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and US top diplomat Antony Blinken during a news conference at the State Department in Washington on Feb 3. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON – South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said on Friday that Seoul and Washington are committed to strengthening “extended deterrence” in relation to North Korea.

He made the comments after meeting US top diplomat Antony Blinken.

Extended deterrence refers to the ability of the United States military to deter attacks on US allies.

South Korea has sought these assurances amid concerns over North Korea’s increasing missile and nuclear capabilities.

“The ROK (Republic of Korea) and the US will continue our watertight coordination to achieve genuine peace on the Korean peninsula,” Mr Park said during a joint news conference following the meeting at the State Department in Washington.

“We are committed to strengthening extended deterrence while maintaining a robust combined defence posture. Any provocations by North Korea will be met with a firm and united response.”

Mr Park and Mr Blinken’s meeting followed a visit to Seoul this week by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who vowed to expand military drills and boost nuclear deterrence planning to counter North Korea’s weapons development and prevent a war.

Major car producer South Korea has sought talks with the US over the Inflation Reduction Act, which excludes electric vehicles assembled outside North America from tax credits in the US.

“We will also work together to ensure that the... Act is implemented in ways that address Korean companies’ concerns and benefit both our businesses and industries,” Mr Park said.

Mr Park said Seoul would also explore the potential for cooperation with Washington under the Chips and Science Act, a law designed to boost US semiconductor production and research with a view to competing with China. REUTERS

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