United States Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, have urged North Korea to start fulfilling its international obligations and commitments starting with the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
"Together, we call upon Pyongyang to start down the path of fulfilling its international obligation and commitments," Kerry said yesterday at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart here.
"Most importantly, we call on North Korea to denuclearise. We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state nor as a nuclear-armed state, and nor will the international community abide by that," he said.
He said that the US is fully committed to the defence of South Korea, including through extended deterrents and putting the full range of US military capabilities in place.
"We will continue to modernise our capabilities so that we are prepared to face any threat," he said.
Speaking of the negotiations over burden sharing and operational control in case of any eventuality, he said:"We are also working hard to reach agreement on burden sharing and the transfer of wartime operational control so that we can continue the great advances that we have achieved to date."
The latest developments on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia warrant their special attention and close coordination between the two nations, Byung-se said.
He said that they both reviewed the serious recent developments in North Korea and their potential implications on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
"We agreed to enhance policy coordination to tackle North Korean issues, which include maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula and seeking progress in the resolution of the North Korea nuclear problem," Byung-se said.
Any provocation by North Korea will be firmly responded to based on our robust combined defence posture, he said.
"In addition to our actions, we'll ensure that the UN Security Council will take prompt measures which it deems necessary," he added.
Emphasising the need to engage other regional powers including China in dealing with the North Korea, Byung-se said: "We share the view that it is important to keep China and other related parties closely engaged to achieve substantial progress in the denuclearising of North Korea."
The visiting minister said that he "places this issue at the top of our agenda" so that they can better cope with the increasing volatility of the nuclear issue.