S. Korea, U.S. defense chiefs reaffirm DPRK unacceptable as nuke state

2016-01-07 01:41:54 GMT2016-01-07 09:41:54(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-Koo and U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday reaffirmed their views that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not be accepted as a nuclear state.

Han made an announcement of the joint statement at the defense ministry's headquarters in Seoul after speaking by phone with Carter about the DPRK's fourth nuclear test, saying that the DPRK has never been, and will never be, accepted as a nuclear state.

The announcement was attended by Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Lee Sun-Jin.

The DPRK said Wednesday that it had successfully conducted its first test of a hydrogen bomb, the fourth in total, which Pyongyang claimed was a perfect success.

Han and Carter shared views that the DPRK's "flagrant provocation" was in clear violation of international law and a threat to peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region.

Carter reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defending South Korea, saying that the commitment includes all means of the U.S. extended deterrence.

Calling the DPRK's nuclear test an unpardonable provocation, the two defense chiefs said Pyongyang should pay a price for its provocation.

Han and Carter agreed the U.S.-South Korea alliance played a pivotal role in deterring DPRK provocations and defending South Korea, pledging to stage their joint war games as planned, which Pyongyang has denounced as a rehearsal for a northward invasion.

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