Seoul, Jun 3 (EFE).- The United States special representative for North Korea policy, Sung Kim, said Friday in Seoul that Washington is prepared to adjust its military posture in the peninsula in line with the actions of Pyongyang, which appears ready to conduct a fresh nuclear test.
“We are preparing for all contingencies in close coordination with our Japanese and ROK (South Korea) allies,” Kim said at a press conference in Seoul after meeting with his counterparts from South Korea and Japan, of a trilateral meeting here with his counterparts, Kim Gunn and Takehiro Funakoshi, respectively.
Kim underlined that the Pentagon will take necessary actions to respond to Pyongyang in order to “strengthen both defense and deterrence to protect our allies in the region.”
Despite Seoul’s calls to increase US strategic assets on South Korean soil, President Joe Biden spoke on his recent visit to South Korea about maintaining a flexible stance in this regard so as not to increase tension in the region.
The South Korean representative, on his part, said that North Korean arms escalation would increase the isolation of Pyongyang, worsening its economic situation, and strengthen the deterrence of the allies.
Funakoshi stressed on the importance of three-way coordination and expressed his hope that it would be strengthened under the new South Korean government.
This was the first tripartite meeting between these countries since February and also the first since the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol, who has promised to have a tougher hand in the face of North Korean weapons tests, was elected South Korean president.
The three diplomats also rued that Russia and China vetoed fresh UN sanctions against North Korea over its recent missile launches.
They also insisted that the door will remain open to talk about denuclearization and urged Pyongyang to accept its offers of humanitarian aid to cope with its current Covid wave.
North Korea, which has closed its borders since 2020 due to the pandemic and rejected US’ invitations for talks, approved last year an arms modernization plan that is behind the record number of missile launches this year.
Satellite images indicate that the hermetic country has been preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 in Punggye-ri (northeast). EFE