January 7th, 2016 11:40 EST
Ash Carter, South Korean Defense Minister Discuss North Korean Nuke Test
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo spoke by phone today to discuss potential responses by the alliance to the apparent nuclear test conducted by North Korea yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a Defense Department statement, Cook said that the two leaders agreed that any such test would be an unacceptable and irresponsible provocation and is both a flagrant violation of international law and a threat to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the entire Asia-Pacific region. "
During the call, the defense secretary reaffirmed the United States` ironclad commitment to South Korea`s defense, he said, adding that this commitment includes all aspects of the United States` extended deterrence. "
In turn, Cook said, Han emphasized the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and its vital role in assuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across the Asia-Pacific. "
The two leaders agreed that North Korea`s provocations should have consequences, he said.
Carter and Han reaffirmed that the international community does not and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, and pledged that both sides would coordinate appropriate alliance responses to these provocations, " Cook said. They also agreed to the importance of close coordination with the international community and regional partners in condemning this action. "
The commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, provided a situational update to the defense secretary before the call, Cook noted.
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