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US vows to maintain pressure on NKorea amid fears of new nuclear test

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaches to shake the hand of South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin after a press conference in Washington
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Jun 14, 2022 - 02:54 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US vowed on Monday to maintain diplomatic pressure on North Korea “until the regime in Pyongyang changes course” amid repeated ballistic missile tests and fears of a potential new nuclear test.

“Unless and until the DPRK is engaged with us, and with partners and allies in diplomacy, and dialogue, that pressure will continue. It will be sustained. And, as appropriate, it will be increased,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Park Jin.

He was referring to North Korea by an acronym.

The top US diplomat continued to warn Pyongyang against conducting what would be the seventh nuclear test in its history, saying the US remains “extremely vigilant,” and has prepared its response in coordination with its allies and partners, principally those in South Korea and Japan.

“I can say simply for today that we’re preparing for all contingencies, again in very close coordination with others, notably with the ROK and with Japan, and we are prepared to make both short and longer term adjustments to our military posture as appropriate,” he said, referring to South Korea.

“A nuclear test would be dangerous. It would be deeply destabilizing to the region. It would blatantly violate international law set out in multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he added.

Park echoed Blinken, saying “any North Korean provocations, including a nuclear test, will be met with a united and firm response from our alliance and the international community.”

“We expressed a special concern over North Korea’s increasingly aggressive rhetoric regarding the use of tactical nuclear weapons,” he added.

The US, South Korea and Japan announced on June 8 plans to bolster security ties, and agreed to jointly counter threats from North Korea if Pyongyang carries out another nuclear test.

China and Russia vetoed on May 27 new UN Security Council sanctions that would have been imposed on the North in retaliation for its continued ballistic missile tests, which it conducts in violation of previous council resolutions.

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