Weapons Support Detachment – Korea Nuclear Operations Standard Operation Procedures

In December 1991, American nuclear weapons were finally removed from South Korea under President George H.W. Bush following decades after their initial introduction into the country in 1958. Under the auspice of Weapons Support Detachment-Korea, the primary U.S. military unit responsible for managing and delivering these weapons, such weapons were maintained in the event of a conflict with North Korea. The United States continues to assert possible first use against adversaries engaged in aggression, especially in the case of North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. Such standard operating procedures detailed in this report highlight the necessity for organizational clarity for the safe storage, maintenance, and deliverability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the even of future conflicts.

Voegeli’s 1987 report provides a comprehensive and detailed list regarding standard operating procedures (SOP) to be performed by Weapons Support Detachment-Korea for a variety of contingencies including management, storage, delivery and deployment of nuclear weapons in the event of an attack and during non-conflicts, as well as procedures involving nuclear weapon accidents and exposures to personnel by providing logistical and organizational details on the matter.

Voegeli writes:

“The detachment will be notified as soon as possible after the weapon has been fired? The NST will ensure all remaining packages and components and repackage as necessary to transport safety and evacuate the firing position.” [page 6]

These reports were released to the Nautilus Institute under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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