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Seoul, April 28 – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol warned that North Korea will be met with an “overwhelming” nuclear response in the event it tries to use nuclear weapons.
Yoon issued the warning during a meeting with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon, saying he agreed with his American counterpart Joe Biden the previous day to strengthen Washington’s extended deterrence commitment to Seoul, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Extended deterrence refers to the US commitment to mobilising all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.
“Should North Korea attempt to use nuclear weapons, it will be faced with a resolute and overwhelming response, including the US’ nuclear capabilities, from the South Korea-U.S. alliance and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces,” Yoon, who is on a state-visit to the US, said.
“I urge North Korea to realize that it can do nothing with nuclear weapons and decide to denuclearise for true peace and mutual prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
The President also expressed confidence in the US, saying, “I fully trust the US’ firm extended deterrence commitment”.
On his part, Austin assured Yoon that the US’ extended deterrence commitment covers the full range of American capabilities, including conventional, nuclear and missile defence capabilities.