Washington, Seoul plan simulation drills to respond to N.Korea nuclear scenario

South Korea's defense ministry has disclosed plans to hold in February joint simulation drills with the United States based on the scenario of a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup disclosed the plan to reporters on Wednesday.

He did not elaborate, but South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that the exercise is set to take place in the US. The two sides are expected to discuss coordinated responses to a scenario in which North Korea uses nuclear arms.

Lee also revealed a similar tabletop exercise is being planned in May.

The announcement comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his year-end address stressed his country needs to accumulate more nuclear warheads and develop new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Seoul earlier indicated a readiness to allow Washington to deploy strategic weapons more frequently near the Korean Peninsula.

The tabletop exercise is part of South Korea's attempt to showcase America's "extended deterrence" commitment to the South through various means, including nuclear capabilities.