Defense Sec. Carter and S. Korean counterpart talk following alleged H-bomb test

Defense Sec. Carter and S. Korean counterpart talk following alleged H-bomb test

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with U.S. Army Col. James Minnich, Secretary of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, as he visits the Demilitarized Zone in the Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy: Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)

PENTAGON (Talk Media News) – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his South Korean counterpart spoke Wednesday by phone following North Korean claims that the nation tested a hydrogen bomb for the first time.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Carter and South Korean Minister of National Defense Han Min-koo discussed “potential alliance responses to the recent apparent North Korean nuclear test.”

“Secretary Carter and Minister Han agreed that any such test would be an unacceptable and irresponsible provocation and is both a flagrant violation of international law and a threat to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the entire Asia-Pacific region,” the statement said.

The White House said Wednesday that their initial “analysis is not consistent” with the North’s claim. Nevertheless, Carter reaffirmed the “ironclad” relationship between the South and the U.S., the Pentagon said, and included that “this commitment includes all aspects of the United States’ extended deterrence.”

The two defense chiefs reaffirmed that they do not want to see North Korea as a nuclear state, and “pledged that both sides would coordinate appropriate alliance responses to these provocations.”

Since the Korean War, the U.S. has maintained troops in the region, with approximately 30,000 forces occupying South Korea today. Many of these forces are located along the border between the North and South, known as the demilitarized zone.

Prior to the call, Carter received an update from the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the Pentagon said.
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