Red Telephone: What Is It And Why Is The US Planning To Recreate It?

Today Joe Biden will meet with the leaders of Japan and South Korea to discuss the creation of a new hotline. Here we tell you what is a red telephone and why it is being discussed to create it again .

Joe Biden, Fumio Kishida and Yoon Suk-yeol

Photos: Archive

LatinAmerican Post | Staff

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Today, Friday, August 18, 2023, US President Joe Biden will meet with the leaders of Japan and South Korea to make agreements and discuss the creation of a new hotline between these countries to deal with a possible crisis with China or North Korea. The meeting will be held at the Camp David residence with Fumio Kishida and Yoon Suk-yeol.

The Camp David presidential residence in the Maryland mountains has historically been the site of important security deals. This is precisely the purpose of this new summit: to institutionalize the US alliances with Japan and South Korea so that they do not depend on the internal politics of each country. These two are the closest countries in the Asia-Pacific region to the United States.

What is a red telephone?

The figure of the red telephone was famous during the Cold War, as it was a direct line between the United States and the USSR. During the arms race between the two world powers, the Cuban missile crisis took place in 1962. In October of this year, the US government seemed to learn of the installation of Soviet missiles on the Caribbean island. This caused the crisis during which the world came closest to nuclear war.

It was after this, in 1963, that the hotline between the United States and the Soviet Union was created. This would be a direct line between Washington and Moscow to avoid delays in communication between the two powers and thus reduce the risk of a nuclear attack.

Why is this idea taken up now with South Korea and Japan?

It is therefore expected that today at the Camp David summit a security agreement will be concluded between the three countries, with which they commit to consult with others and to communicate among themselves military decisions in the Asia-Pacific region. To this end, the creation of a hotline between the three countries has been discussed.

Both South Korea and Japan have participated in military exercises with the United States, but have not collaborated with each other. This, perhaps, due to the diplomatic tension between the two countries after the Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula. The idea of this summit is, then, to expand the collaboration and alliances between Tokyo and Seoul.

This diplomatic agreement will also make these governments share certain information about satellites and missile radars to deal with North Korea, a country on which the three leaders seem to agree. What is not yet known is whether they will agree on a common position towards China, since South Korea has not had such tense diplomatic relations with the Asian giant as the United States and Japan have.

The three leaders will have lunch today and give a press conference at 3 pm local time.

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