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US offers South Korea ‘ironclad’ defense commitment

The Pentagon says US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reassured his South Korean counterpart of the “ironclad” US commitment to defend the American ally.

Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo spoke yesterday, and the US Defense Department says in a statement that Mattis made clear that any threat to the US and its allies would be met “with a massive, effective and overwhelming military response.”

US Defense Secretary James Mattis, left, and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrive to speak to the press about the situation in North Korea at the White House in Washington, DC, September 3, 2017. (AFP/NICHOLAS KAMM)

Their conversation came days after North Korea’s latest — and most powerful — nuclear test.

US President Donald Trump — in tweets after the North’s test on Sunday — faulted South Korea for what he called its “talk of appeasement” toward the North, and didn’t specifically mention that the US is obligated by treaty to defend its ally in the event of war.

— AP

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