Senior U.S. and South Korean officials are concluding a nuclear and weapons of mass destruction threats exercise at U.S. Pacific Command Jan. 14-15.
About 40 defense and foreign affairs government officials and military officers participated in the third iteration of the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee (EDPC) Tabletop Exercise. The committee is a cooperative bilateral mechanism that enables an effective combined defense posture to enhance alliance deterrence.
The exercise scenario is designed to allow officials to explore a range of possible alliance responses to a nuclear crisis involving the Republic of Korea. The 2014 exercise is part of a series of such engagements conducted to improve alliance understanding of deterrence and extended deterrence concepts, crisis-decision making and the requirements for an effective combined approach to deterrence.
Highlights of the exercise include briefings on nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities supporting deterrence and extended deterrence; discussions regarding a range of possible alliance response measures centered on nuclear threat scenarios; and site-visits to U.S. military facilities that support deterrence and extended deterrence on the Korean Peninsula, including an air operations center and a missile defense naval vessel.
Deputy Minister for Policy of the Ministry of National Defense Yoo Jeh Seung led the Republic of Korea delegation. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Elaine Bunn and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Helvey co-led the U.S. delegation.
The exercise adds to the baseline of shared information and knowledge on how best to tailor deterrence for the Korean Peninsula, and communicates alliance resolve and solidarity in the face of North Korean nuclear and other WMD threats.
Officials will brief the outcome of the tabletop exercise to the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue's spring 2014 meeting.