DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, January 6, 2016 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo spoke by phone today to discuss potential responses by the alliance to the apparent nuclear test conducted by North Korea yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a Defense Department statement, Cook said that the two leaders “agreed that any such test would be an unacceptable and irresponsible provocation and is both a flagrant violation of international law and a threat to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the entire Asia-Pacific region.”
During the call, the defense secretary reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to South Korea’s defense, he said, adding that “this commitment includes all aspects of the United States' extended deterrence.”
In turn, Cook said, Han emphasized the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance “and its vital role in assuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across the Asia-Pacific.”
The two leaders agreed that North Korea's provocations should have consequences, he said.
Carter and Han “reaffirmed that the international community does not and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, and pledged that both sides would coordinate appropriate alliance responses to these provocations,” Cook said. “They also agreed to the importance of close coordination with the international community and regional partners in condemning this action.”
U.S. Forces Korea, Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti provided a situational update to the defense secretary before the call, Cook noted.