What is the ‘Washington Declaration’?

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The President of South Korea and the US President recently signed the Washington Declaration on the anniversary of 70 years of their bilateral relationship.

About Washington Declaration:

  • It was signed between the US and South Korea on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of U.S.-South Korea bilateral relations.
  • The declaration outlines the cooperation towards nuclear deterrence.
  • Purpose: Protect the Korean Peninsula from a nuclear attack.
  • According to the declaration,
    • A US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)would be deployed in the Korean peninsula;
    • A joint Nuclear Consultative Group would be formed to formulate principles of joint response tactics;
    • South Korea would receive intel from the US regarding nuclear advancements;
    • The US will strengthen South Korea’s nuclear deterrence capabilities through joint military training programs and an annual intergovernmental simulation.
  • The declaration reaffirmed the non-proliferation Treaty implying that South Korea would not venture into the creation of its own independent nuclear capabilities and would instead focus on deterrence measures through an alliance-based approach.
  • It also mandates the US President as the only ‘sole authority’ to use the nuclear arsenal of the US in the event of a nuclear confrontation.


Q1) What is meant by nuclear deterrence?

Nuclear deterrence is an ideology dating back to the Cold War used to prevent any nuclear aggression and to maintain the status quo.It is used as a tactic and serves as a reminder of the consequences nation states can face if they choose to attack another country or state. It convinces a country not to pursue further action and is premised on the logic that the costs and losses that would incur outweigh the rewards.

Source: Explained | What is the Washington Declaration?