WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the below statement following President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s joint declaration on measures that the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will take to enhance extended deterrence:
“President Biden and President Yoon deserve credit for taking this important step. We welcome the Biden administration’s Washington Declaration to bolster our extended deterrence on the Korean peninsula. The North Korean nuclear program grows more threatening as Pyongyang continues to test more advanced nuclear delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and shorter range tactical nuclear weapons.
“Our alliance with the Republic of Korea needs to reflect this new reality, and today’s decision to establish a Nuclear Consultative Group and to consult more regularly and systematically with Seoul on nuclear crises does exactly that. Just as we regularly engage with our NATO allies on nuclear contingencies in the European theater, it is imperative that we do the same with our South Korean allies. Increasing the frequency, breadth, and depth of our consultations and enhancing the regular visibility of U.S. strategic assets in the region underscore our steadfast commitment to the Korean people. We applaud this positive step for U.S.–ROK relations and the ROK’s re-enforcement of its non-proliferation commitments.”