SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea and the United States will hold tabletop exercises next month involving the American extended deterrence effort as the allies move to better counter the North’s nuclear threats, South Korea’s defence minister said on Wednesday.

North Korea launched an unprecedented number of missiles last year, while U.S. officials have warned it could be preparing for its first test of a nuclear device since 2017.

Officials in both capitals said they were in talks to improve joint nuclear planning and launch tabletop exercises, but the timing had not yet been finalised.

“The two countries will hold tabletop exercises in February under the scenario of North Korea’s nuclear attacks,” South Korean defence minister Lee Jong-sup told a news conference after a New Year policy briefing for President Yoon Suk-yeol.

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(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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