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US committed to protecting Japan amid Korean tensions

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US Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington is “fully committed” to protecting Tokyo days after it received nuclear threats from North Korea.

The latest comments by Kerry come after North Korea vowed to launch a strike on Japan if it continued with its “hostile posture” against Pyongyang.

“The United States is fully committed to the defence of Japan,” Kerry said during a joint press conference in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday.

The US Secretary of State is in Japan on the last day of his four-day visit to Asia to discuss recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula. During his trip, Kerry has held meetings with top Chinese and South Korean officials.

On Saturday, Kerry visited China, where Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for denuclearization, peace and dialogue as the best solution to the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military exercises with South Korea.

On March 30, North Korea declared that it was in a “state of war” with South Korea. Pyongyang warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict would “not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”

On April 9, North Korea urged all foreign institutions, enterprises, and tourists in South Korea to leave the country, warning that the Korean Peninsula was nearing a ‘thermonuclear war’.


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