Seoul, Tokyo and Washington to assess Pyongyang nuke test

Seoul, Jan 25 (IANS) The heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, Japan and the US will hold a meeting in February to study the current crisis in the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test, a South Korean military spokesperson said on Monday.

The meeting, between South Korea’s JCS chairman General Lee Sun-jin and his Japanese and American counterparts Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano and General Joseph Dunford respectively, will be held through a video conference, Efe news agency cited the Seoul military as saying on Monday.

The meeting is aimed at facilitating a possible defence response to the current crisis, a South Korean official said.

The Korean peninsula has witnessed an escalation of tensions since January 6 when North Korea carried out its fourth underground nuclear test.

The two Koreas, which technically have been at war for more than 65 years now, also activated propaganda broadcasts through loudspeakers at the common border.

The last time this happened was in August, when the two countries ended up exchanging cross-border artillery fire.

Meanwhile, the US army flew a B-52 bomber plane armed with nuclear missiles in the skies of ally South Korea, in response to the North Korean test.

Another official said the US plans to carry out a further show of its power as part of its campaign to deter Pyongyang from conducting more nuclear tests.

The Kim Jong-un-led communist regime says it detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb for the first time on January 6, although most experts consider the claims to be exaggerated and maintain the country possibly just tested a fission bomb.

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