South Korea’s foreign ministry has commended the White House’s National Security Strategy, which promises that the United States will “take care” of North Korea as it continues to expand its nuclear capabilities.
“The strategy reaffirmed that the U.S. will double commitments to its allies and partners and cooperation with its allies is key in coping with common threats including North Korea’s nuclear problem and preserving interests,” said Seoul’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Noh Kyu-duk, at a press briefing.
“We assess that the report reaffirmed that the Seoul-Washington alliance is stronger than ever,” he continued.
The report, published on Monday, outlined the United States desire to work with regional and international powers to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula.
“U.S. allies are critical to responding to mutual threats, such as North Korea, and preserving our mutual interests in the Indo-Pacific region,” the report read. “Our alliance and friendship with South Korea, forged by the trials of history, is stronger than ever.
The report added that the U.S. “will cooperate on missile defense with Japan and South Korea to move toward an area defense capability,” and remains “ready to respond with overwhelming force to North Korean aggression and will improve options to compel denuclearization of the peninsula.”
Other aspects of the report include the deployment of a “layered missile defense system” to protect the U.S. against any attack from North Korea or Iran, and warnings that “continued provocations by North Korea will prompt neighboring countries and the United States to further strengthen security bonds and take additional measures to protect themselves.”
This month, the U.S. and South Korea held a series large-scale military exercises across the Korean peninsula, in a move that Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said was “aimed at enhancing the all-weather, day and night combined air power operation capabilities of South Korea and the U.S.” North Korea responded by claiming that both countries were “begging for nuclear war.”
This year alone, North Korea has conducted numerous missile tests and well as six nuclear tests, all while threatening countries such as the U.S., South Korean and Japan, as analysts warn that their completion of a full nuclear arsenal.
South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which promotes the unification of both North and South, also commended the report.
“The government has kept the stance that North Korea’s nuclear issue should be peacefully resolved, and we need to apply sanctions and pressure to make Pyongyang give up its nukes and come to dialogue,” a ministry official said. “In that sense, the international community is moving in the same direction.”