The United States and South Korea warned on Monday of a quick response as North Korea conducts a nuclear test, including “changes” in the US military, but also offered talks as a way out. Both allies say North Korea can test its first nuclear weapon at any time since 2017, after months of escalating tensions, including missile tests and Pyongyang’s refusal to accept condemnation from President Joe Biden’s administration.
At a meeting with his opponent in South Korea, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said the United States was working with allies in Tokyo and Seoul “to react immediately if the North Koreans pass such a test.” “And we are ready to make short-term and long-term changes to our military position as needed,” he said. “Until the Pyongyang regime changes course, we will continue to press.”
But Blinken reiterated that the United States had no “hostile intent” against the North, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We will continue to arrive in the DPRK. We are determined to maintain a diplomatic approach, “Blinken said.” “Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said their government was ready to negotiate with Pyongyang “unconditionally.”
But Blinken acknowledged that there was no response from North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong-un held the top three spots, which won the title along with Biden’s successor Donald Trump.
The Trump-Kim march eased tensions but failed to reach a lasting agreement on the North’s nuclear program, and Biden indicated that all of his administration’s actions were lower.
Some North Korean observers saw a potential diplomatic opening in Pyongyang’s announcement last month that a COVID-19 epidemic had broken out in Pyongyang.