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US Not To Accept North Korea As 'Nuclear State:' Kerry

4/3/2013 1:06 AM ET

The United States has made it clear that it will not accept North Korea as a "nuclear state."

This was stated by Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint press conference with his visiting South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se in Washington on Tuesday.

"What Kim Jong-un has been choosing to do is provocative, it is dangerous, reckless, and the United States will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear state," he said in reference to the young North Korean leader's ambitious nuclear policy.

Kerry reiterated that "the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that."

"The Foreign Minister and I also think it's important to stay absolutely focused on our shared goal of a peaceful Korean Peninsula, free of nuclear weapons. And we agree that improved relations between North and South would ultimately help to move us towards that goal. That is a stated goal of the new President of the Republic of Korea, and we look forward to working with her to achieve that goal," Kerry told reporters.

Kerry said the U.S.-South Korea alliance, "which is in this moment of its 60th anniversary celebration, remains critical to American engagement in Asia." He termed it as a "linchpin of peace and stability in the region."

Kerry announced plans to visit Seoul next week as part of the "United States' complete commitment to deepen this relationship in the years ahead." Also, South Korean President Park Geun-hye will be in Washington to meet with President Barack Obama in early May. Park's visit to the United States will be her first overseas visit as head of the state.

by RTT Staff Writer

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