[The Epoch Times, September 26, 2022](The Epoch Times Special Report Reporter Dongfang Hao Comprehensive Report) North Korea’s nuclear weapons legislation has escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula. South Korean President Yoon Sek-yue said when meeting with the UN Secretary-General that he hoped that the United Nations would resolutely respond to North Korea’s provocation. At a sensitive moment, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan entered South Korea’s Busan Naval Operations Base for the first time in five years, and will conduct joint military exercises with the South Korean military at the end of the month. The U.S. and South Korean marines are also planning a joint landing exercise.
U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier sails into South Korea’s Busan Naval Operations Base for the first time in five years
On September 23, 2022, the USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN-76) battle group entered the Pusan naval operating base in South Korea, and will conduct joint military exercises with the South Korean military in the eastern waters of South Korea at the end of the month.
The USS Reagan aircraft carrier battle group consists of USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Ticonderoga-class cruiser Chancellorsville (CG-62), the USS Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) and other warships. The USS Ronald Reagan began service in 2003, carrying more than 80 carrier-based aircraft such as F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter attack aircraft and E-2D early warning aircraft, and is known as a “sea air base”.
According to Yonhap News Agency, the US military will also dispatch the Annapolis attack submarine (SSN-760, 6,000-ton class) to participate in the joint exercise. It is expected that South Korea and the United States will issue a tough warning message against North Korea’s nuclear test and other strategic provocations through the exercise.
Kim Kyung-chul, director of the Marine Operations Division of the Korean Naval Operations Command, Mike Donnelly, commander of the Fifth Aircraft Carrier Training Corps, Mark Schaeffer, commander of the U.S. Navy in Korea, Captain Fred Goldhammer Ronald Reagan, etc. Relevant personnel of the navies of the two countries attended the welcome ceremony for entering the port that day.
Donnelly said at a press conference on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan that the carrier group’s visit will demonstrate the strong alliance between South Korea and the United States. He also emphasized that the South Korea-US alliance is one of the most successful alliances in modern history, and will take this visit to South Korea to further consolidate the alliance. The two countries will send a tough warning message through strategic provocations such as a nuclear test against North Korea through joint exercises.
This is the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has entered the Busan operating base after a five-year hiatus. The leaders of South Korea and the United States agreed in May 2022 to deploy U.S. strategic weapons in South Korea in a timely and coordinated manner. The defense ministers of the two countries agreed in July 2022 to strengthen the deterrence posture of the South Korea-U.S. alliance by deploying U.S. strategic weapons on the Korean peninsula. The visit of the US aircraft carrier strike group to South Korea could be seen as a follow-up to these agreements.
South Korea, U.S. Marines to conduct joint landing exercises as early as next month
The Yonhap News Agency reported on September 21, 2022 that in the context of North Korea’s nuclear weapons legislation intensifying military threats, the South Korean and U.S. marines have drawn up a five-year plan to strengthen joint landing exercises, and will advance large-scale joint landing exercises as early as October 2022. Landing exercise.
US Marine Corps spokesman Austin Gallegos said in response to a question from Yonhap News Agency about the South Korea-U.S. Marine Corps joint exercise plan, the five-year plan refers to the fact that the South Korean and U.S. militaries will continue to maintain the existing limited-scale Joint exercises, and on this basis, seek plans to implement large-scale joint landing exercises for many times. The navies of the two countries will also participate in joint landing exercises.
Gallegos said the above-mentioned joint exercise plan, including large-scale joint landing exercises, is expected to be implemented in October 2022 or 2023.
The “limited-scale joint exercise” refers to the Korea-US Marine Corps Joint Exercise in Korea (KMEP) project, in which the two militaries have conducted 15 to 25 exercises below the battalion level each year since 1976. In early September 2022, the US military released live photos and videos of the KMEP exercise implemented in the third quarter, sending a warning signal to North Korea.
The report also said that it is worth noting that the recently publicized KMEP exercise also invested in the 1st Air-Sea Fire Liaison Company of the US Marine Corps. If the South Korean and U.S. Marines conduct joint landing exercises at or above the battalion level, this will become a stronger message of containment against the DPRK sent by the two countries.
U.S., Japan, South Korea foreign ministers’ joint statement resolutely responds to North Korea’s nuclear test
Just as the U.S. aircraft carrier sailed into Busan, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Lin Fangzheng met in New York on September 22, local time, and issued a joint statement. This is the first meeting between the foreign ministers of the three countries after the G20 foreign ministers meeting in July 2022.
The joint statement reiterated that North Korea would face a strong and resolute response from the international community if it conducted a nuclear test, and expressed serious concern over North Korea’s escalating and “destabilizing” messages over the use of nuclear weapons, including the issuance of a decree on its nuclear force policy.
The statement condemned that North Korea has repeatedly launched ballistic missiles and made threats this year, in violation of relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The statement urged North Korea to fulfill relevant obligations in accordance with Security Council resolutions, and called on the international community to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions.
Blinken reiterated that the U.S. will provide assistance to South Korea and Japan. In the statement, the United States and Japan also expressed support for the South Korean government’s “bold vision” of the North Korea policy roadmap.
The three foreign ministers emphasized that in order to maintain a rules-based economic order and promote prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world, it is necessary for the three countries to strengthen cooperation. The three countries agreed to jointly deal with acts of “economic coercion”, and pledged to work hard to maintain the international order and strive for countries to freely choose their own paths without oppression.
South Korea, U.S. express concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapons legislation
On September 22, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea stated that Kim Gun, Minister of Peace Negotiations on the Korean Peninsula of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Sung Kim, Special Representative for North Korea Policy of the US State Department, held a breakfast meeting in Seoul on the same day. worry.
The two sides expressed deep concern over North Korea’s recent “Supreme People’s Assembly” to legislate its offensive nuclear strategy, significantly lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, and exacerbating nuclear threats. The two sides agreed that North Korea’s intention to “use nuclear weapons first” by expressly enacting legislation and relaxing the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons is to expose a “serious threat” of its willful intention to use nuclear weapons.
The two sides agreed to continue to cooperate in urging North Korea to return to the track of dialogue.
The 7th meeting of the 14th “Supreme People’s Assembly” of the DPRK passed a decree on September 8, 2022, proposing five conditions for the use of nuclear weapons. The relevant conditions have a wide range of interpretation space, which has caused concern to the outside world. In this regard, South Korea and the United States held a high-level “Extended Deterrence Strategic Consultation” (EDSCG) meeting in Washington on September 16, and agreed to continue to strengthen cooperation to maintain a solid joint defense posture while strongly countering North Korean provocations.
Yin Xiyue meets with the UN Secretary-General: I hope I can resolutely respond to North Korea’s provocations
On the afternoon of September 20, 2022 local time, South Korean President Yoon Sek-yue met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, the United States, to discuss issues such as the North Korean nuclear issue.
According to Kim Eun-hye, Chief Publicity Secretary of the Presidential Office of the Republic of Korea, President Yoon Sek-yue said in a 25-minute interview with the Secretary-General at the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York, “I am very grateful to the Secretary-General for his commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea. and support for sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula.”
Yin Xiyue said, “If North Korea chooses a better path, not only the government of the Republic of Korea, but also international financial institutions and even Northeast Asia will provide North Korea with large-scale investment and infrastructure construction financial support.” “I will do everything possible to make North Korea open and close.” open the door and make every effort to contribute to Northeast Asia and world peace.”
Yin Xiyue said, “But if North Korea resumes nuclear tests or conducts new nuclear provocations, I hope the Secretary-General will give attention and support, lead the international community to unify its position and make a firm response.”
In this regard, Guterres said, “President Yoon Seok-wyeon and the Republic of Korea can trust the United Nations.” “The Security Council will naturally take clear measures to respond to provocations that threaten freedom and peace.”
Editor in charge: Lian Shuhua