The presidential office says the North’s latest intermediate-range ballistic missile provocation is judged to be a part of a step-by-step scenario that will eventually lead to the regime’s return to nuclear testing.
A high-level presidential official shared the top office’s observations in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, noting that recent North Korean missile launches continue to lengthen in range and demonstrate different related platforms.
Calling the Tuesday launch a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a threat to the Korean Peninsula and beyond, the official ensured that Seoul and Washington are communicating and coordinating closely in real-time on the matter on every level, including between their foreign ministers and national security advisors.
The official also said the government will further strengthen its bilateral and trilateral coordination with the U.S. and Japan, and also closely cooperate with the international community to make Pyongyang aware that it will pay the price for reckless provocations.
Asked whether tactical nuclear arms are included in the possible trilateral responses, the official said President Yoon Suk Yeol’s stance is that extended deterrence comprehensively lists a package of every possible means to deter the North’s nuclear provocation, adding that Seoul and Washington are discussing substantial changes to extended deterrence.