The United States and South Korea are doing everything to thwart North Korea's nuclear threat, and that includes signing a new pact. Reuters reported on Oct. 2, 2013, that the new pact is to deter North Korea's possible use of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.
South Korea is looking to take back wartime command of its forces from the U.S.
“We know that North Korea has increased its threats, clearly, against South Korea, against the United States,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a press conference in Seoul today. “It has increased its capabilities, its missile capabilities, its three nuclear tests. So that is constantly forcing a review of our strategies."
Currently, the United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea to help defend against any attacks from North Korea. some 60 years after the end of the Korean War which kept both countries separated. The U.S. was given wartime command of South Korean forces at the onset of the conflict.
Control was set to return to the South Koreans by 2015.
"Of particular concern are North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, its proliferation activities, and its chemical weapons," U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a joint news conference with South Korea's Kim Kwan-jin.
"Given these concerns, as Minister Kim noted, today we signed a bilateral strategy for tailored deterrence against the threat of North Korean nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction," he said.
South Korea reported that the new strategy involved the use of all available military assets to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea if there should be any indication of threat from Pyongyang. The U.S. denied that the new pact addressed such a threat and said it was more so to generate the framework for a deterrent against the North.
The U.S. has gone on record saying that the North Korea's use of chemical weapons would be "unacceptable."