Does anyone think permanently deploying US bombers and Aegis ships will do anything to change the behavior of the Kim regime?:
Defense Minister Han Min-koo, left, speaks as Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, second from left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, third from left, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter listen during a meeting at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday. / AP-Yonhap
South Korea and the United States have officially begun discussions on the permanent deployment of strategic weapons such as nuclear-capable bombers on the Korean Peninsula.
This was at the top of the agenda in the “two plus two” high-level security talks among Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Defense Minister Han Min-koo, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Washington, Thursday.
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told reporters after the meeting that the two defense chiefs will discuss details about how to deploy U.S. strategic assets in South Korea during the annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM).
“The permanent deployment of U.S. strategic assets will be discussed at the defense chiefs’ talks,” he said.
U.S. strategic assets include nuclear-capable B-52 and B-1B bombers, F-22 stealth fighter jets, nuclear-powered attack submarines and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Military sources here said that working-level officials of the two nations have already been talking on permanently deploying B-1B Lancers or Aegis destroyers to South Korea. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but this article from Yonhap says the US is unlikely to station strategic assets in South Korea due to cost and concerns of upsetting China:
The scholar said as the U.S. has gradually reduced its defense budget, it will be financially burdensome to deploy its strategic assets on or near the Korean Peninsula.
“The U.S. prefers to operate those assets on a rotational basis to flexibly respond to conflicts in the Middle East, the South and East China Sea, if necessary,” he pointed out.
China remains another major obstacle as the North’s closest ally will be “definitely irritated” by permanent deployment of any U.S. nuclear-armed weapons in South Korea, said Kim Dong-yeob, a professor at Kyungnam University’s North Korean studies school. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link.