U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said that in the event of North Korea’s new nuclear weapons test, the United States, in coordination with its allies in the region, is ready to make changes to its military deployments to respond quickly.
Blinken held a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin in Washington.
Blinken said he and Park discussed economic relations and regional security issues, and exchanged views on the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program to the region.
Emphasizing that there is no hostile intention of the United States towards North Korea, Blinken said, “We are open to dialogue without preconditions. “We want to support the North Korean people, including COVID-19 vaccines.”
Blinken stated that their goal is a peaceful and stable region, but said that Kim Jong Un’s administration has not responded to US offers to do so.
Blinken said that he was worried about the information that North Korea has conducted 6 tests in the US since the previous administrations and is preparing to conduct the 7th nuclear test.
“We are in very close contact with South Korea, as well as Japan and our other close allies and partners, so that if North Korea proceeds to such a test, we can respond quickly. For today, I can simply say that again, in very close coordination with others, especially South Korea and Japan, we are preparing for all possible situations and are ready to make both short- and long-term adjustments to our military deployment. A nuclear test would be dangerous, it would shake the region deeply. This clearly violates international law as set out in multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. We therefore urge North Korea to refrain from further destabilizing activities. We call on North Korea to engage in serious and sustainable diplomacy, and indeed we are ready to move forward in this regard without any preconditions.”
Park said a possible North Korean nuclear test would receive a firm and harsh response from the international community.
Explaining that they discussed concrete ways to close the gaps in the implementation of the current sanctions with the US and ways to further strengthen the sanctions regime, Park said, “At the same time, we have been very clear that we are ready to adopt a more flexible and open-minded approach to dialogue and diplomacy, diplomacy with North Korea. We want dialogue with North Korea without preconditions. We call on North Korea to stop the destabilizing actions and return to dialogue.”