U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will ''defend South Korea through a robust, combined defense posture and through extended deterrence, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella conventional strike and missile defense capabilities.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The United States vowed on Wednesday (October 19) to do "whatever is necessary" to defend itself, South Korea and other allies against the "grave" threat posed by North Korea, which has conducted two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches this year. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se to discuss their response to the threat posed by North Korea in wake of their nuclear test last month. "Our two governments have joined countries across the globe in condemning North Korea's latest nuclear test and its repeated ballistic missile tests," said Kerry. The Secretary promised the United States would "defend South Korea through a robust, combined defense posture and through extended deterrence including the U.S. nuclear umbrella conventional strike and missile defense capabilities." U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at the start of talks in Washington between the foreign and defense ministers of the United States and South Korea that the U.S. commitment to provide "extended deterrence, guaranteed by the full spectrum of U.S. defense capabilities" was "unwavering." The term "extended deterrence" refers to the U.S. nuclear umbrella that protects non-nuclear allies South Korea and Japan in East Asia. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said North Korea was nearing the "final stage of nuclear weaponization" and called for "an updated U.S.-Korean comprehensive response strategy." He said the allies should mobilize "all tools in the toolkit" to defend themselves.