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Newsline: US envoy for North Korea pledges to sustain ‘joint deterrence’ with South Korea

The US envoy for North Korea said Seoul and Washington have agreed to maintain the “strongest possible joint deterrence” amid rising missile and nuclear threats from Pyongyang as the two countries sat down for talks in the capital of South Korea on Monday. Washington will act “responsible and decisively” in its response to the “escalatory actions” as North Korea flexes its artillery muscle in display of test missile launches towards Seoul and Tokyo, sparking concerns that Pyongyang is bracing to resume nuclear testing of weapons. The two officials, US special representative Sung Kim and his deputy Jun Pak, met with South Korean officials, including nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk, on Monday as the former kickstarted their five-day visit in Seoul on Monday. As the talks began, Mr Sung said that his latest visit to North Korea’s neighbour and adversary was an “indication of our determination and commitment to maintain the closest possible coordination” between the allies amid developments in the North. (https://news.yahoo.com/us-envoy-north-korea-says-093716169.html) The high-level talks between Washington and South Korea come at the time of a nine-day annual joint military drill by the troops of both countries. The joint drills have been condemned by North Korea, calling it rehearsals for war despite them being scaled back in recent years during efforts to get Pyongyang on the table for talks for diplomacy route.

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