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US to deploy nuclear submarines to South Korea to deter North Korean threats

The Virginia-class nuclear submarine USS John Warner. (U.S. NAVY)
April 26, 2023

The United States will send nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea for the first time in over 40 years, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday. The announcement comes amid growing concerns over North Korean nuclear threats.

During a joint news conference at the White House, Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced new efforts to deter North Korean aggression, including “port visits of nuclear submarines.”

“The alliance formed in war and has flourished in peace,” Biden said. “Our mutual defense treaty is iron clad and that includes our commitment to extend a deterrence – and that includes the nuclear threat, the nuclear deterrent.”

North Korea recently threatened “offensive action” over military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea.

“A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action,” Biden said. “It’s about strengthening deterrence in response to the DPRK’s escalatory behavior.”

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its list of recommended drugs to stockpile for nuclear emergencies for the first time since 2007 as the threat of nuclear war continues to grow.

According to the WHO’s list, a typical radiation emergency stockpile should include:

  • Stable iodine, to reduce thyroid exposure to radioactive iodine
  • Chelating agents to remove radionuclides from the body
  • Cytokines to reduce bone marrow damage
  • Medicines to treat vomiting, diarrhea and infections

“This updated critical medicines list will be a vital preparedness and readiness tool for our partners to identify, procure, stockpile and deliver effective countermeasures in a timely fashion to those at risk or exposed in these events,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program.

In October, Biden warned that the world is facing “the prospect of Armageddon” amid nuclear saber-rattling, adding that there is a “direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path that they are going.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.