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S. Korea, US, Japan Agree on Unprecedented Response to N. Korean Nuke Test

Hot Issues of the Week2022-10-30


South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have agreed on the need for an unparalleled response if North Korea carries out what would be its seventh nuclear test. 

Vice foreign minister Cho Hyun-dong and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts Wendy Sherman and Takeo Mori held a joint news conference after their meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday.

[S. Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong (Korean-English)]

"The three countries agreed to continue close cooperation amid North Korea's adoption of an aggressive nuclear policy and the increased threat of using nuclear weapons." 

"We agreed that an unparalleled scale of response would be necessary if North Korea pushes ahead with a seventh nuclear test." 

Cho said Pyongyang's recent provocations have sharply raised instability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, prompting South Korea to beef up deterrence through overwhelming capabilities based on a joint readiness posture and security cooperation with the U.S. and Japan.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Sherman told reporters that Washington is still open to holding talks with Pyongyang. 

[US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman]

“This year, the DPRK has launched an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles, one of which flew over Japan, posing a serious threat to the Japanese public. Even more troubling, the DPRK has characterized its recent launches as preparations for the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons.”

“We urge the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and we remain committed to dialogue with the DPRK without preconditions.”

Sherman welcomed continued assistance for Ukraine from South Korea and Japan, with the vice ministers expressing concern over Russia's irresponsible remarks about nuclear weapons.

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