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ROK-US Defense Minister, SCM Joint Press Conference

At a joint news conference on October 28th, the defense ministers of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US expressed their determination not to accept North Korea as a nuclear state and their strong willingness to punish North Korea for its provocations. They also reached the consensus that to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, diplomatic solutions should be pursued rather than military options. However, they warned North Korea clearly that any provocations will be met with an overwhelming military response from the ROK-US alliance.

Mattis said at the meeting that "North Korea is no match for the ROK-US alliance," adding that "the United States will not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea." Defense Minister Song Young-moo also expressed his view that the two countries will strongly support diplomatic efforts to achieve a solid ROK-US combined defense posture in order to achieve North Korea's denuclearization.


The two ministers made it clear that they did not intend to relocate the tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula. Song said, "It is much better for the national interest not to deploy nuclear weapons," as "even without deploying nuclear weapons, there are sufficient countermeasures for North Korean provocations." Mattis said, "When we look at North Korea, our most important goal is to achieve denuclearization," he said. "We have various international and strategic capabilities for the purpose of deterrence," he said, expressing his negative position on tactical nuclear relocation on the Korean peninsula.

By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >
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