The United States is standing by previous warnings that the use of a nuclear weapon by the North Korean military would spell the end of the country’s standing order.
A spokesman for the Department of Defense reiterated the threat to unceremoniously end the Kim family’s regime Tuesday.
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“I think we have been very clear that were North Korea to employ a nuclear weapon, it would be the end of the North Korean regime,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder at a daily press briefing Tuesday.
“But again, our focus continues to be on and working very closely with our allies and our partners in the region to deter aggression, to preserve security and stability in the region. And that will continue to be our focus,” Ryder added.
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This policy is a continuation of the Department of Defense’s stance outlined in its National Defense Strategy.
“Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of that regime,” the Department of Defense said in October of last year.
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Last month, North Korean leadership threatened to respond to U.S.-South Korean military drills with “most overwhelming nuclear force.”
The North Korean Foreign Ministry made the aggressive statement through an unnamed spokesperson.
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“The military and political situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region has reached an extreme red line due to the reckless military confrontational maneuvers and hostile acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The statement continued, “DPRK will take the toughest reaction to any military attempt of the U.S. on the principle of ‘nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation!’”