NATO chief stresses continued need for U.S. 'extended deterrence' against N.K. threats

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

© APA | NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

# 30 January 2023 11:41 (UTC +04:00)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday highlighted the importance of the United States' extended deterrence for South Korea, saying it has an "extremely important task" amid Pyongyang's growing nuclear threats, APA reports citing Yonhap News Agency.

Stoltenberg made the remarks during an event in Seoul hosted by the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies, responding to a question on the sensitive issue of whether Seoul needs a nuclear-sharing policy with the U.S., akin to NATO's Nuclear Planning Group.

"I think it's important to understand that what we call extended deterrence, meaning that NATO allies and also some NATO partners, like South Korea, they don't have their own nuclear weapons but are covered by the nuclear deterrence that the United States provides. That is where to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons," he said.

He also stressed NATO will "remain a nuclear alliance" as long as nuclear weapons exist, saying the world will be more dangerous if NATO allies, including the U.S. and France, get rid of their nuclear weapons amid nuclear threats from Russia, China and North Korea.

"So we think that as long as nuclear weapons exist, especially as long as we see that authoritarian powers are having them in Russia and investing heavily in mobilizing them, as we see what China is doing, increasing the number of weapons on the range and also what North Korea is doing, then nuclear deterrence still has an extremely important task to fulfill," he said.

Stoltenberg arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a two-day visit and is set to depart for Japan later in the day.

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