The United States has reaffirmed its security guarantees to South Korea following North Korea's testing of a nuclear weapon. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke after an annual meeting in Washington with South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung:
"The United States reaffirms its firm commitment to the Republic of Korea, including continuation of the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella consistent with the mutual defense treaty. We've expressed this commitment in every communiqué since 1978, and that commitment has sent a clear signal for over three decades. And thus the commitment is as solid today as it was when it was first stated."
The United States is working with its allies and partners to prevent North Korea from making further advances in its nuclear weapons program.
Following North Korea's nuclear test, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution Seventeen-Eighteen. That resolution requires all member states to prevent the sale or transfer to or from North Korea of all materials which could contribute to North Korea's nuclear, ballistic missile and other weapons of mass destruction programs. The resolution bans the sale to North Korea or purchase by North Korea of battle tanks, warships, armored combat aircraft, attack helicopters, missiles, or missile systems. It also requires member states to prevent transfers to North Korea by their nationals or from other territories of technical training, advice, services, or assistance related to weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the new Security Council resolution prohibits the sale of luxury goods to North Korea.
The government of China will play a key role in preventing the further development of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. Following a meeting in Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing reaffirmed the two countries' determination to work together toward a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula. Secretary of State Rice said they had discussed the importance of "full implementation" of United Nations Security Council Resolution Seventeen-Eighteen. It is important, she said, to make certain that there is no "transit and trade" in "dangerous illegal materials" connected to North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.