South Korean President warns North over nuclear program

Seoul, South Korea

North Korea will face “a determined and overwhelming response” from South Korea and the United States if it attempts to use nuclear weapons, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol said Saturday.

Speaking at the nation’s 74th Armed Forces Day ceremony, Yoon called North Korea’s recent law declaring itself a “nuclear weapons state” a threat to the survival and prosperity of South Korea and reiterated calls for Kim Jong Un to denuclearize.

“[North Korea’s] development of nuclear weapons will make the lives of North Koreans more difficult. The regime must make the decision to denuclearize for true peace and mutual prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” Yoon said.

Yoon also reaffirmed the South Korea-US alliance, promising that both militaries would strongly respond to North Korea’s provocations and threats if necessary.

“(The South Korean government) will enhance its reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities and strike capabilities against North Korea,” Yoon added.

Earlier Saturday, the South Korean military detected two short-range ballistic missiles launched from North Korea’s Sunan area in Pyongyang, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

It was the fourth time in the past week that Pyongyang has fired missiles.

South Korea held an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting shortly after North Korea’s launch.

North Korea has now fired its most ballistic missiles in a single year since Kim Jong Un took power in 2012, according to the Unification Ministry and a CNN tally.

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