South Korea and the United States display their air power during an official US visit to Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea and the United States staged a joint air power demonstration on Tuesday during a visit by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who said there would be a strong and clear response if North Korea acted. nuclear test.

The demonstration, which featured 20 warplanes including F-35A stealth fighters, came a day after allies launched eight surface-to-surface missiles off South Korea’s east coast in response to a barrage of short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea. Sunday. Read more

“South Korea and the United States have demonstrated their strong ability and determination to strike swiftly and accurately any North Korean provocation,” the South Korean military said in a statement, adding that allies are closely watching and preparing for any further provocation by North Korea.

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The statement came hours after Sherman met her South Korean counterpart Cho Hyun-dong in Seoul to discuss North Korea. The reclusive country conducted a series of missile tests recently and some analysts believe it is preparing to resume nuclear weapons tests after a five-year hiatus.

“Any nuclear test would be a complete violation of UN Security Council resolutions (and) there would be a quick and strong response to such a test…I think that not only the ROK, the United States, Japan but the whole world would respond in a strong way,” Sherman told a news conference after the meeting. and clear.” The Republic of Korea is the Republic of Korea, the official name of South Korea.

“We are ready … and we will continue our three-way discussion (with South Korea and Japan) tomorrow,” Sherman added.

North Korean authorities and experts have been saying for weeks that there are signs of new construction at Punggye-ri, North Korea’s only known nuclear test site.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said Monday that construction work in North Korea to expand key facilities at its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon is progressing. Read more

North Korea suffered its first-ever outbreak of COVID-19 last month, with the country reporting a total of 4,198,890 people with fever symptoms as of Monday. North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pyongyang has so far refused any help from Washington and Seoul, even as the World Health Organization says the COVID-19 situation there is deteriorating. Read more

“We hope that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un will focus on helping his people meet this challenge of COVID-19 that we have all faced and will return to the negotiating table instead of taking provocative, dangerous and destabilizing actions,” Sherman said.

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(Reporting by Juri Roh and Soo Hyang Choi) Editing by Kim Coogle and Lincoln Fest.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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