May 20, 2021

Risch, Colleagues: Biden Should Commit to Credible Extended Deterrence during U.S.-South Korea Summit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement ahead of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s summit with President Biden this week:

“President Biden’s summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in this week provides an important opportunity to strengthen our bilateral alliance and advance shared interests on North Korea and other challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. In particular, President Biden should commit to credible and effective extended nuclear deterrence for the future, backed by a fully modernized U.S. nuclear triad, select capabilities critical for extended deterrence, and deeper cooperation with South Korea.

“The United States’ nuclear umbrella provides security guarantees that the United States will retaliate against nations if they attack Indo-Pacific allies, including South Korea. The Biden Administration, however, appears poised to pursue nuclear policies – including a sole purpose doctrine – that are divorced from rising regional security challenges and would dilute U.S. extended deterrence commitments. Strong doubts are already emerging among our allies about U.S. staying power.

“Inviting President Moon to the White House is of course an important gesture. But if President Biden wants to assure allies like South Korea that “America is back,” he should take this week’s opportunity to reject policies and defense cuts that would damage extended deterrence. He should instead commit definitively to upholding extended deterrence and supporting full funding for nuclear modernization.”

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