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Top S. Korean, U.S. diplomats discuss joint response to DPRK nuke test


14:47, February 04, 2013

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan and his new U.S. counterpart agreed to seek "stern measures" if the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues down the path of provocation, the ministry here said Monday.

Kim held a telephone conversation with John Kerry, who has sworn in as the new U.S. Secretary of State, earlier in the day to discuss joint responses to potential provocations by the DPRK, including a nuclear test the allies believe will be conducted in the near future.

The two top diplomats "agreed on the need to ensure that North Korea understands that it will face significant consequences from the international community if it continues its provocative behavior," according to a Washington Post report.

Government officials here have said the DPRK is ready to conduct its third nuclear test to protest expanded sanctions under a new U.S. resolution that condemned Pyongyang's controversial Dec. 12 satellite launch, which many saw as a disguised missile test.

The DPRK, which has claimed the launch was only for peaceful purposes, recently vowed to proceed with missile and nuclear tests targeting the U.S., its "sworn enemy."

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