U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Tuesday that the United States would use its military resources, “including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense,” to defend its allies Japan and South Korea.
She also warned North Korea to refrain from intensifying its provocations.
Sherman argued that North Korea’s recent provocative military measures repeatedly fired artillery and ballistic missiles.
According to North Korea, they are being used as drills for the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons.
In conversations with South Korea’s first vice foreign minister Cho Hyungdong in Tokyo, Sherman said, “This is highly reckless, dangerous, and disruptive.”
The two representatives got together before their Wednesday three-way meeting with their Japanese colleague.
The three officials will be meeting for the second time since conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol assumed office in May, indicating an easing in the tense relations between Japan and South Korea. After three-way meetings in Washington a year ago, the vice ministers from Japan and South Korea declined to participate in a joint news conference, leaving Sherman to address the media on his own.
According to Sherman, North Korea needs to understand that the United States is “ironclad committed” to ensuring the security of South Korea and Japan.
Cho expressed worry to Sherman during their conversations that a new nuclear weapons policy implemented by North Korea in September raises the likelihood of its arbitrary use of nuclear weapons.
“This is creating serious tension on the Korean Peninsula,” Cho said.
Takeo Mori, the vice foreign minister of Japan, and Sherman met earlier on Tuesday. Sherman underlined the need to continue improving US-Japan relations. partnership, as well as other shared objectives, like the total denuclearization of North Korea and a coordinated reaction to China’s escalating regional assertiveness.
Yasukazu Hamada, the defense minister of Japan, has stated that North Korea is thought to have succeeded in reducing the size of nuclear warheads while enhancing its missile capabilities greatly by varying its launch methodologies, making interceptions more challenging.
According to Japanese sources, North Korea may soon conduct a nuclear test.
Officials from Japan and South Korea got together later on Tuesday to discuss ways to mend their strained relations, which were brought on by disagreements over Japanese wartime actions that included abusing Korean forced laborers and forcing young girls and women to work in brothels for Japanese soldiers.