SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea’s Yonhap news agency has reported that the U.S. and Japan have agreed there will be no soft response to a North Korean nuclear test.
Amidst signs the North has completed preparations to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, the agreement was reached during trilateral talks in Hawaii with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Akiba Takeo of Japan.
According to Yonhap, Kim Sung-han, South Korean national security advisor, told reporters, “If North Korea conducts its seventh nuclear test, our three countries, together with the international community, will maximize cooperation in a way that North Korea realizes it was a clearly wrong choice.”
“We have agreed there should never be such a complacent thinking or response that North Korea has conducted just another nuclear test, in addition to the six tests it did,” Kim added.
After South Korea and the U.S. resumed their largest joint field exercises in years, North Korea fired two cruise missiles from its west coast in mid-August.
Such exercises have been denounced by Pyongyang as rehearsals for war.
If North Korea conducts another nuclear test, and in response to its cyberattacks, which are key funding sources for the communist country, Pyongyang will likely face stronger sanctions, South Korea’s defense minister said.
This week’s meeting marked the first gathering of officials from the three countries since South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office in May.