U.S. Urges North Korea to Cease Provocative Actions Following Claimed Underwater Nuclear Test

WASHINGTON– The United States has issued a call for North Korea to halt further provocative and destabilizing activities and return to diplomatic dialogue. This appeal comes in response to Pyongyang's claim of testing an underwater nuclear weapons system.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, North Korea's defense ministry announced the testing of the Haeil-5-23 system, describing it as significant. This claim was made amidst denouncements of the recent naval drills conducted by South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, which North Korea labeled as "reckless confrontation hysteria." A State Department spokesperson, in response to an inquiry from Yonhap News Agency, urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to engage in substantive discussions and focus on risk management and peace creation on the Korean Peninsula, reiterating that the U.S. has no hostile intentions towards North Korea.

John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, acknowledged the United States' ongoing discussions with South Korea regarding the North's claims. Kirby emphasized the lack of specific information to validate North Korea's claims and the importance of working closely with South Korean partners for further insights. He also noted that if North Korea's claims are true, it underscores the regime's continued provocations and pursuit of advanced military capabilities, posing threats to its neighbors and regional stability.

Kirby expressed concern over North Korea's escalating rhetoric against Seoul and Washington, emphasizing the necessity to take such statements seriously, given the regime's ongoing pursuit of nuclear and advanced military capabilities. He suggested that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un should prioritize the well-being of his people over military advancements.

Additionally, a Pentagon spokesperson reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to the security of South Korea and Japan, emphasizing the threat posed by North Korea's military programs. The spokesperson underlined the U.S.' dedication to collaborating with both South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea, ROK) and Japan to counter the threats from the DPRK. This statement came in the wake of joint trilateral naval drills involving South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, which included the participation of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. These drills followed Pyongyang's recent launch of a hypersonic missile.

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