Washington has warned that any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies will result in the end of the Kim Jong Un regime.
The United States also reaffirmed its ironclad commitment to the defense of South Korea, leveraging the full range of U.S. military capabilities — including advanced non-nuclear, nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities.
This was stated in a joint statement by the U.S. Department of Defense and South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense after holding the 23rd Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue in Seoul on Monday.
Since last year, North Korea intensified its escalatory actions through a record number of ballistic missile launches and its continued rhetoric regarding the use of nuclear weapons. Earlier this year, North Korea publicly stated its intent to further expand and enhance its nuclear and missile programs.
The latest provocation by North Korea came last month when its attempt to put a spy satellite into space failed as a rocket carrying it crashed into the sea.
During the Security Policy Initiative session, the United States and South Korea reaffirmed their shared goal of the complete denuclearization of North Korea. They pledged to continue strengthening combined defense posture and capabilities to defend the South as well as deter conflict on the Peninsula.
To this effect, the two sides assessed that the Ulchi Freedom Shield 23 (UFS23) exercise significantly improved the Alliance’s crisis management and all-out war execution capabilities.
The exercise was conducted last month under a realistic operational environment that reflected Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear and missile threats as well as the possibility of a rapid transition to wartime. They also assessed that UFS23, in conjunction with more than 30 intensive Warrior Shield field training exercises, enhanced combined operation execution capabilities.
Based on these outcomes, the two sides pledged to further strengthen combined exercises and training to stay responsive to the rapidly changing security environment on the Korean Peninsula.
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