TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The United States, Japan and South Korea warned on Wednesday that they would sanction an “unprecedented” scale if North Korea conducts a seventh nuclear bomb test.
Washington and its allies believe North Korea is about to resume nuclear bomb tests for the first time since 2017.
“We agreed that scale is not the appropriate response if North Korea moves forward with a seventh nuclear test,” South Korean Vice Minister Cho Hyun-dong told a news conference. talk in Tokyo.
Cho spoke alongside his Japanese and American counterparts, Vice Minister Takeo Mori and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
The United States and its allies have said little about what new measures they will take, and analysts say there are few good options to stop a new test.
For the first time since North Korea began testing nuclear weapons in 2006, China and Russia this year vetoed a U.S. call for more UN Security Council sanctions. United Nations, and military training has far exceeded other North Korean tests. do training.
“We urge (North Korea) to avoid further provocations,” Sherman said, calling them “unwise and very dangerous for the region.
“Everything that happens here, like North Korea’s nuclear test … has implications for the security of the whole world,” he said, sending a thinly veiled message to Pyongyang’s supporters, China and Russia, in the UN Security Council.
“I hope everyone in the Security Council understands that the use of nuclear weapons will change the world in incredible ways.”
Asked about the news from Tokyo, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on all countries to understand “the causes of the long-standing crisis” and take steps to strengthen mutual trust and resolve the concerns of all parties in balance. method.
The North has been conducting missile tests at a record pace this year, firing more than two dozen ballistic missiles, including one that flew over Japan.
Angered by South Korea’s military actions, Pyongyang last week fired hundreds of missiles from its shores in what was seen as a serious warning to its southern neighbor.
In September, the USS Ronald Reagan and accompanying ships conducted joint military exercises with the South Korean military in response to the North’s ballistic missile test as part of their military exercise. first entering a US airline as of 2017.
In response, the United States, South Korea and Japan have made efforts to deepen cooperation, Mori said.
“We agreed to strengthen the prevention and response capacity of the Japan-US relationship and the US-South Korea relationship, and promote security cooperation between the three countries,” Mori said. .
In light of the tensions between China and Taiwan, Sherman reiterated that the United States would not support Taiwan’s independence, but would not stop its cooperation with Japan and South Korea. to help Taiwan defend itself.
“The United States has told everyone that we do not support Taiwan’s independence, but we want to ensure peace, so we will do everything we can to support Taiwan and working with Japan and the Republic of Korea to make sure that Taiwan can take care of itself,” Sherman said.
At a meeting of the Communist Party of China this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for China to speed up its plans to build an international military and said his country would never give up the right to use it. force to resolve the Taiwan issue.
China claims that Taiwan has been democratically governed as its own territory, while Taiwan’s government strongly opposes China’s sovereignty claims and says that only the nation’s 23 million people can decide for themselves. things to come.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo, Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith in Seoul, and Eduardo Baptista in Beijing; Written by Chang-Ran Kim; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore
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