South Korea's Ambassador to the U.S. Cho Tae-yong said on Tuesday that South Korea and the U.S. will seek to strengthen their joint deterrence against North Korea, while working to improve the human rights conditions in the regime.
The top envoy made the remarks to reporters at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington.
Cho said that priority will be placed on Seoul and Washington cooperating closely to strengthen the implementation of the U.S. extended deterrence against the North. He said that the allies are bolstering the joint deterrence and readiness posture through close coordination in all areas, including in diplomacy, the military and intelligence.
The ambassador said that the allies will also work together to cut off North Korea's funding for its illicit weapons programs, while working to create momentum for resuming nuclear negotiations with the North.
According to the ambassador, the allies reportedly assessed that North Korea may carry out a provocation by test firing an intercontinental ballistic missile in April, given that the North had said it would complete the development of a military reconnaissance satellite by then.
Cho also expressed hope for the confirmation of the new U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, Julie Turner, in the near future, saying Seoul and Washington will work to further strengthen their practical cooperation on North Korean human rights.