WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and South Korea on Friday denounced North Korea’s first-use nuclear doctrine announced this month as “escalatory and destabilizing” and Washington vowed to continue to deploy and exercise strategic assets to deter and respond to Pyongyang.
The countries issued a joint statement after a meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) at vice ministerial level in Washington, the first convening of the body since 2018.
The statement said the countries “expressed their serious concern over the DPRK’s escalatory and destabilizing messaging related to nuclear weapons use, including its adoption of the new nuclear policy law” and “committed to continue efforts to employ all elements of both countries’ national power to strengthen the Alliance deterrence posture.”
“The United States committed to strengthen coordination with the ROK to continue to deploy and exercise strategic assets in the region in a timely and effective manner to deter and respond to the DPRK and enhance regional security,” the statement said, referring to South Korea and North Korea by the initials of their official names.
Last week, North Korea officially enshrined the right to use preemptive nuclear strikes to protect itself in a new law that leader Kim Jong Un said makes its nuclear status “irreversible” and bars denuclearization talks.
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(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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