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 “incomparable” scale of response would be warranted if North Korea conducts a seventh nuclear bomb test.

Washington and its allies believe North Korea could be about to resume testing nuclear bombs for the first time since 2017.

“We agreed that an unparalleled scale of response would be necessary if North Korea goes ahead with a seventh nuclear test,” South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong said at a conference in press in Tokyo.

Cho was speaking alongside his Japanese and American counterparts, Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and Under 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 few good options to prevent another test.

For the first time since North Korea began testing nuclear weapons in 2006, China and Russia this year vetoed a US-led push for additional Security Council sanctions. the UN, and the intensification of allied military exercises have only been met by more North Korean tests and exercises.

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

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

“We really hope that everyone in the Security Council understands that any use of a nuclear weapon will change the world in incredible ways.”

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

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

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

In September, the USS Ronald Reagan and accompanying ships conducted joint military exercises with South Korean forces in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test in what was their first joint military training involving a US aircraft carrier since the 2017.

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

“We agreed to further strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance and the US-South Korea alliance, and to promote further security cooperation between the three countries,” he said die

On the rising tensions between China and Taiwan, Sherman reiterated the US position that it does not support Taiwan’s independence, but that it will not prevent it 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’s 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 that Taiwan . can defend himself,” Sherman said.

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 says it has democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, while Taiwan’s government strongly opposes China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide his 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; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.

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