Washington and Seoul jointly warned North Korea on its nuclear weapons program, while unveiling a new deterrence plan. The move comes amid concerns over Pyongyang’s missile tests and nuclear ambitions.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong issued a joint statement, calling on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The statement emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong and united front against the North’s provocations.
As part of the new deterrence plan, the US and South Korea announced their intention to bolster their military capabilities, including increasing the number of joint military exercises and enhancing their defense systems. The plan also includes measures to strengthen sanctions against North Korea, including the enforcement of UN resolutions.
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The two nations also expressed their commitment to working towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through diplomatic means, and urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table.
The joint statement was issued following a meeting between Blinken and Chung in Washington. The meeting was part of a series of high-level talks between the two nations aimed at strengthening their alliance.
The United States has been a key ally of South Korea since the Korean War, and maintains a military presence in the country. The two nations regularly conduct joint military exercises, which have often drawn criticism from North Korea.
The latest warning from the US and South Korea comes amid growing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program, which has been a source of tension in the region for years. In recent months, North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests, including one that reportedly involved a new hypersonic missile.
The United States has previously said that it is willing to engage in diplomatic talks with North Korea, but has also made it clear that it is prepared to take action to defend its interests and those of its allies in the region. The new deterrence plan is seen as a further indication of this stance.