US President Joe Biden has warned North Korea of dire consequences if it launches a nuclear attack, as he seeks to reassure South Korea of Washington’s commitment to defending its ally against the threat from the North.
The US leader issued a stark warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during a joint news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the White House on Wednesday night, April 26.
‘Look, a nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action,’ said Biden on Wednesday afternoon.
Biden’s remark came as he and Yoon announced the Washington Declaration, an agreement aimed at deterring nuclear aggression from North Korea.
‘What the declaration means is we’re going to make every effort to consult with our allies when it’s appropriate if any action is so called for,’ Biden said from the Rose Garden.
The alliance means the US will defend South Korea, which is what Yoon had hoped for.
‘Sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula does not happen automatically,’ said Yoon.
‘Two leaders have decided to significantly strengthen extended deterrence of our two countries against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats so that we can achieve peace through the superiority of overwhelming forces and not a false peace based on the goodwill of the other side.’
Biden called the new alliance with South Korea ‘ironclad’ and includes a commitment to deter North Korea from an attack.
‘The alliance formed in war and has flourished in peace,’ he said.
‘Our mutual defense treaty is ironclad and that includes our commitment to extend a deterrence – and that includes the nuclear threat, the nuclear deterrent.’
Biden cited North Korea’s ‘increased threats and the blatant violation of US sanctions’ in highlighting the important timing of the alliance.
The agreement comes amid heightened tensions on the peninsula, especially over the past year.
North Korea has launched about 100 missiles since the beginning of 2022. Meanwhile, North Korea sees joint military drills between the US and South Korea as a threat.