Jan. 7 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls on North Korea to denuclearize, and affirms commitment to the defense of South Korea. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on North Korea to denuclearize on Tuesday (January 7) at the State Department after talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. "We call on North Korea to denuclearize. We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state nor as a nuclear-armed state, and nor will the international community abide by that," Kerry said, appearing with Yun at a news briefing after their bilateral talks. "I assured Foreign Minister Yun that we remain fully committed to the defense of the Republic of Korea, including through extended deterrence and putting the full range of U.S. military capabilities in place. We will continue to modernize our capabilities so that we are prepared to face any threat," Kerry said. North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be around 30 years old, has been in power for two years and presided over a nuclear test and two rocket test launches that are banned under United Nations sanctions. In 2013, Pyongyang threatened to strike South Korea, the United States and Japan in fiery rhetoric that triggered an arms buildup in East Asia. Yun said South Korea and the U.S. are coordinated and ready to respond, should that need arise. "In the event of any North Korean provocation, South Korea and the United States will firmly respond based on our robust combined defense posture," Yun said.