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Readout of Secretary of Defense Carter’s Call with Republic of Korea Defense Minister Han

Press Operations

Release No: NR-002-16
Jan. 06, 2016
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Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following statement:

Today, Jan. 6, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Han Min-koo spoke by phone to discuss potential alliance responses to the recent apparent North Korean nuclear test.  Secretary Carter and Minister Han 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.

Secretary Carter reaffirmed the ironclad commitment of the United States to the defense of the ROK, and that this commitment includes all aspects of the United States' extended deterrence. Minister Han emphasized the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance and its vital role in assuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across the Asia-Pacific. Carter and Han agreed that North Korea's provocations should have consequences.

The secretary and minister 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. They also agreed to the importance of close coordination with the international community and regional partners in condemning this action.

Prior to Secretary Carter's call with the minister, he received a situational update from Gen.  Curtis Scaparrotti, commander, U.S. Forces Korea.