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U.S., South Korea to hold nuclear deterrence exercise


15:56, December 06, 2012

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United States and South Korea will conduct a tabletop exercise in nuclear deterrence on the Korean Peninsula from Thursday, the Pentagon has announced.

About 40 U.S. and South Korean officials and experts will participate in the exercise at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the western U.S. state of New Mexico. They will test the deterrence methods in response to a nuclear threat scenario on the Korean Peninsula, Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters Wednesday.

This would be the second exercise of its kind, after the U.S. Strategic Command held the first one in 2011 under the auspices of a bilateral committee formed in 2010 to discuss joint responses to a nuclear crisis on the Peninsula, Little said.

The participants would look at concepts, crisis decision-making and the requirements for employing assets in response to a nuclear threat scenario, he said.

"The exercise demonstrates that extended deterrence for the ROK (Republic of Korea) is credible, capable, and enduring, by fostering the joint study of deterrence challenges and by identifying opportunities for cooperation and collaboration," he said.

Cathy Wilkinson, a Pentagon Press Office spokesperson, said the exercise was to maintain "credible and effective deterrence" on the Korean Peninsula and it demonstrated the "unwavering" U.S. commitment to South Korea.

But she said the drill had nothing to do with the latest tension caused by the plan by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launch a satellite.

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