Kerry confirms US-ROK alliance against DPRK, favors harmony with Japan
Updated: 2015-05-18 14:12
US Secretary of State John Kerry answers a reporter's question during a joint news conference following meetings with the ROK's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, unseen, at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, May 18, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
SEOUL - US Secretary of State John Kerry and his the Republic of Korea's counterpart Yun Byung-se on Monday confirmed a firm US-ROK alliance against any threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during their talks.
Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with Yun, Kerry said the US-ROK alliance "is absolutely stronger than ever," noting that there is "not an inch, not a centimeter, not a microscope" of difference between Washington and Seoul in their approach to Pyongyang's "provocations and its nuclear program".
"The biggest security concern" that the two allies should care together is the DPRK, Kerry said, adding that the two countries" are working together with the same direction and the same goal."
The top US diplomat arrived in Seoul on Sunday afternoon for a two-day trip after visiting Beijing. It was his first visit to the ROK since February 2014.
Kerry's visit came amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula as the DPRK said on May 9 that it had successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
If confirmed, the SLBM would pose a "serious challenge" to the peninsula as well as the United States as it could mean the DPRK's submarine secretly sailing underwater and conducting a missile attack against the US mainland.
Kerry said the SLBM test-launch was very provocative and in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions banning the DPRK from conducting any launches based on its ballistic missile technology.
He indicated further sanctions against the DPRK, saying that the US and partner nations were talking about next steps on Pyongyang's "reckless abandonment" of obligations under UN resolutions.