U.S., Japan, S. Korea warn of ‘unparalleled’ response if N. Korea holds nuclear test

TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The United States, Japan and South Korea warned on Wednesday that an “unprecedented” response would be necessary if North Korea conducted a seventh nuclear bomb test.

Washington and its allies believe that North Korea may resume testing a nuclear bomb for the first time since 2017.

“We agreed that if North Korea conducts its seventh nuclear test, an unprecedented response is necessary,” South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong told a news conference in Tokyo.

Cho was speaking alongside his Japanese and American counterparts, Deputy Secretary of State Takeo Mori and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The United States and its allies have offered few details on what new measures they might take, and observers say they have no good options to prevent a new test.

For the first time since North Korea began testing nuclear weapons in 2006, China and Russia this year vetoed a U.S. bid for additional U.N. Security Council sanctions, and the allies’ stepped-up military exercises have only fueled more North Korean and nuclear tests. More has been done. exercises

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“We urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations,” Sherman said, calling them “reckless and deeply destabilizing to the region.”

“Anything that happens here, like North Korea’s nuclear test … has implications for the security of the whole world,” he said, sending a veiled message to supporters of Pyongyang, China and Russia at the UN Security Council.

“We really hope that all members of the Security Council understand that any use of nuclear weapons would change the world in incredible ways.”

Asked about Tokyo’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on all countries to acknowledge the “root causes of the long-term impasse” and take steps to strengthen mutual trust and address the concerns of all parties in a balanced manner. manner

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North Korea has conducted weapons tests at an unprecedented rate this year, firing more than 22 ballistic missiles, including one that flew over Japan.

Angered by South Korea’s military activities, Pyongyang fired hundreds of artillery shells off its coast last week in what it called a serious warning to its neighbor to the south.

In September, the USS Ronald Reagan and ships with South Korean forces conducted joint military exercises in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile test, their first joint military exercise with a US aircraft carrier since 2017.

In response, the United States, South Korea and Japan have pledged to deepen cooperation, Murray said.

“We agreed to further strengthen the deterrence and response capability of the Japan-US alliance and the US-South Korea alliance, and promote greater security cooperation between the three countries,” Mori said.

On the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, Sherman reiterated the US position that it does not support Taiwan’s independence, but will not stop the country from working with Japan and South Korea to help Taiwan protect itself. .

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“The United States has publicly reiterated that we do not support Taiwan independence, but we want to ensure that there is peace, and so we will do everything we can to support Taiwan and work with Japan and the Republic of Korea to ensure Taiwan . Sherman said he could defend himself.

At a Communist Party meeting this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for accelerating China’s plans to build a world-class military and said his country would never give up the right to use force to resolve the Taiwan issue.

China claims that Taiwan is democratically governed as its own territory, while Taiwan’s government fiercely disputes China’s claims of sovereignty, saying only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo, additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith in Seoul, and Eduardo Baptista in Beijing. Written by Chang Ran Kim. Edited by Simon Cameron Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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