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(2nd LD) Possibility of North Korea nuclear test during Prime Minister Harris’ visit to Japan South Korea: US officials

(Note: Updated with additional details in last 3 paragraphs)
Byun Deok

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) — North Korea is preparing to conduct a nuclear test and could well carry out during US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Japan and South Korea. a senior U.S. government official said on Friday.

Officials warned that North Korea would face serious consequences if it chose to conduct the new test.

When asked about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test during Harris’ visit to Northeast Asian countries next week, a senior official said: “It is possible and North Korea is preparing to conduct a nuclear test. said,’ he said.

DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

The official said Pyongyang was said to be preparing for a nuclear test for some time.

“Such a test makes clear that it will lead to additional actions by the United States to demonstrate its firm commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea and to Japan’s allies,” the official said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

“We have made it clear how concerned we are about North Korea’s provocations and destabilizing actions, and a nuclear test would definitely fall into that category,” the official added, adding that the issue of North Korea’s provocations ” Surely the US vice president will meet his Korean counterpart.

The vice president is scheduled to visit Japan for four days starting Monday, where he will lead a presidential delegation to attend the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

She is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Thursday and meet with South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol, officials said in a telephone press conference. It will be her first visit to both Japan and South Korea since she took office early last year.

In addition to Yoon, Harris will also meet with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duk-soo, who will lead a South Korean presidential delegation to Abe’s funeral.

The Harris Han meeting will be held in Tokyo on Tuesday, according to US officials.

During his two-day visit to Seoul, the U.S. Vice President will also hold a roundtable discussion with a group of what government officials called “groundbreaking Korean women.”

“These are prominent women from various industries who have made strides towards building a more inclusive and equitable society,” the official said.

“This conference will demonstrate the importance the Vice President places on the issue of gender equality around the world,” the official added. “The Vice President wants to use her voice and leadership to advance women and expand their opportunities.”

The official said Mr. Harris would have the opportunity to engage U.S. forces in South Korea if requested, without elaborating further.

“She wants to go there (South Korea) and wants to make it clear that the United States has a very strong commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, and that’s what she’s trying to convey. Yes, and that’s what she’s trying to convey to the president,” the official said of Harris’ trip to Seoul.

The official declined to comment on whether the vice president would work directly to mend ties between Seoul and Tokyo during his visit to the region, but the United States would certainly give its two allies improved ties. He said he encourages

“Obviously, we want to see the closest possible relationship between the two allies. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week.

“While it is not our job to intervene in such negotiations, it is certainly our job to express support for what they are doing and what we can do to help. , mostly just to encourage that process. Working with them bilaterally and even more mutually will make us stronger in the region and around the world.”

http://yna.kr/AEN20220924000352325&section=news&input=rss (2nd LD) Possibility of North Korea nuclear test during Prime Minister Harris’ visit to Japan South Korea: US officials

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