The UNC “will be united upon any renewal of hostilities or armed attack on the Korean peninsula”, a joint statement between UNC and South Korea said, condemning North Korea’s “unlawful” nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik said Pyongyang had been warned not to attempt any aggressive acts, noting that unlike in 1950, when the Korean War broke out, North Korea is now a member state of the United Nations.
NORTH CALLS FOR UNC TO BE DISSOLVED
“If North Korea ever invades the South again, it will be self-contradictory, where a UN member state would be attacking the UN Command,” Shin told the meeting. “If the countries that backed North Korea during the Korean War ever try to help again, then those countries will also receive grave punishment from the international community along with North Korea.”
China and the Soviet Union backed the North in combat against UN member states led by the United States. China and North Korea are parties to the armistice with the UNC. The UNC member states, which include the United States, Britain, Australia and Türkiye, sent troops or contributed medical support during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Established in 1950, the UNC was mandated to restore peace and enforce the armistice while acting as a channel of communication with North Korea.
It is led by the commander of the US military stationed in South Korea.
North Korea on Monday called the UNC “a US tool for confrontation” that has nothing to do with the United Nations and an “illegal war organisation” that must be dissolved if the outbreak of a new war on the Korean peninsula is to be prevented.
On Monday, Austin and Shin agreed to revise a bilateral security agreement aimed at deterring North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.
The defence chiefs said they would step up joint drills and cooperate with Japan to deter and better prepare for any North Korean attack, while seeing the need for dialogue as a path toward peace on the peninsula.
The US and South Korean navies are carrying out joint drills this week off the east coast of the peninsula, including anti-submarine exercises, the South Korean navy said on Tuesday.