The US will defend its friends against North Korea militarily: The US would utilize its military, “including nuclear, conventional and missile defense,” “as she cautioned North Korea against increasing its provocations.
Sherman called North Korea’s latest missile and artillery launches provocative. North Korea calls them tactical nuclear weapon practices.
“This is highly reckless, dangerous, and destabilizing,” Sherman told South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyundong in Tokyo. The two officials met before Wednesday’s three-way meeting with Japan.
Japan-South Korea ties improved after conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s May inauguration.
After three-way negotiations in Washington a year ago. Japanese and South Korean vice ministers skipped a joint press conference, leaving Sherman to speak alone.
Sherman warned North Korea that US support for South Korea and Japan is “ironclad.”
“We’ll use nuclear, conventional, and missile defense to defend our friends,” she said.
Cho told Sherman that a September North Korean nuclear weapons strategy might lead to arbitrary use.
Cho stated this was causing central Korean Peninsula tension.
Sherman met with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori on Tuesday to discuss the Japan-US relationship, North Korea’s disarmament, and China’s growing assertiveness in the area.
According to Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, North Korea has miniaturized nuclear bombs and advanced its missile capabilities by diversifying its launch technology, making interceptions harder.
North Korea may test a nuclear weapon soon, according to Japanese authorities.
Later Tuesday, Japanese and South Korean officials discussed ways to repair ties damaged by Japanese wartime maltreatment of Korean forced laborers and forced prostitution of children and young women by Japanese forces.