US retorts to North Korea, says can defend self, allies
Washington: Slamming North Korean threat to reopen its nuclear facilities, the US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said that Pyongyang's move was "dangerous" and "the US would not accept the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state".
Kerry also said that the US will "defend and protect ourselves and... the republic of Korea."
Kerry's statement came at a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se in Washington.
""The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless. The United States will not accept the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state," the CNN quoted Kerry.
"And I reiterate again the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that," Kerry said.
Reacting over North Korean rhetoric, the US moved some of its key military assets, including a warship and a sea-based radar platform, closer to the North Korean coast to monitor Pyongyang's military moves.
Two missile destroyers, the USS Decatur and the USS McCain have also been deployed near the North Korean coast, said the Pentagon.
"They will be poised to respond to any missile threats to our allies or our territory," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
Agitated over the UN sanctions after its Feb 12 nuclear test and the US- South Korea joint drills, North Korea has been dishing out threat over threat throughout the week, it's latest threat being to reopen the Yongbyong nuclear plant.
The moves come following a joint military exercise with South Korea, which included over flights by nuclear-capable B- 2 stealth bombers, and B-52s and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.