The foreign minister expressed the country’s solidarity with South Korea Tuesday during what he called difficult moments with its relations with the north.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said last week that developing atomic weapons is one of the country’s top priorities.
The foreign minister, Enrique Castillo, said his country’s support for south Korea would be political and moral.
“Your country deserves it,” the foreign minister told Chun Hong-Jo, South Korea’s ambassador here. “It is a country that is a good friend.”
The exchange came at the donation of three vehicles to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto by South Korea. In the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the United States will defend itself and its ally South Korea against military threats from North Korea, and says Washington will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
Kerry, speaking in Washington alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, called Pyongyang’s recent threats of military action against South Korea and the United States “provocative, dangerous and reckless.” He said the United States is fully prepared and capable of defending its interests, and said he believes North Korea knows that.
Kerry’s comments came hours after North Korea said it would quickly begin to restart its idled nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, with the aim of building more nuclear weapons and addressing the impoverished country’s electricity shortage.
Official North Korean radio said the restart will include a uranium enrichment plant and a five-megawatt reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium.