US, S.Korea express 'serious concern' over N.Korea nuclear law

Senior officials from the United States and South Korea have shared "serious concern" over North Korea's adoption of a new law outlining conditions for using nuclear weapons.

US Under Secretary of State Bonnie Jenkins and Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl met with South Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun-dong and Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beom-chul on Friday. The meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group was held in Washington.

A joint statement released after the talks says the two sides "expressed their serious concern" over North Korea's "escalatory and destabilizing messaging related to nuclear weapons use, including its adoption of the new nuclear policy law."

North Korea adopted a law on September 8 outlining conditions under which it would launch a nuclear strike.

The US officials stressed that Washington will use all military capabilities, including nuclear defense, to provide extended deterrence for South Korea.

The United States and South Korea also remain on alert for preparations by Pyongyang for a seventh nuclear test.

Both sides reaffirmed that a nuclear test by the North "would be met with a strong and resolute whole-of-government response."

It was the first such meeting since January 2018, and followed a commitment made by US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in May.