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During a trip to Seoul by a U.S. official, S. Korea and the U.S. show off their air power

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - During a visit by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, South Korea and the U.S. showed off their...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - During a visit by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, South Korea and the U.S. showed off their air power on Tuesday. Sherman said that if North Korea did a nuclear test there would be a strong and clear response.

Twenty warplanes, including F-35A stealth fighter jets, took part in the show. It happened a day after the allies fired eight surface-to-surface missiles off South Korea's east coast in response to North Korea's launch of dozens of short-range ballistic missiles on Sunday.

"South Korea and the U.S. showed their strong ability and determination to strike any North Korean provocation quickly and accurately," the South Korean military said in a statement. They also said that the allies are closely watching North Korea and getting ready for any more provocations.

Sherman made the statement a few hours after meeting with Cho Hyun-dong, her counterpart in South Korea, in Seoul to talk about North Korea. The secretive country has recently done a number of missile tests, and some experts think it is getting ready to start testing nuclear weapons again after a five-year break.

"Any nuclear test would be a direct violation of the UN Security Council's rules, and there would be a quick and strong response. I think that the ROK, the US, and Japan, as well as the rest of the world, will respond in a strong and clear way "After the meeting, Sherman said at a news conference. The official name of South Korea is the Republic of Korea, or ROK.

"We are ready, and (with South Korea and Japan) we will continue our trilateral talks tomorrow," Sherman said.

Authorities and experts on North Korea have been saying for weeks that there are signs of new building at Punggye-ri, which is the only known place where North Korea has done a nuclear test.

On Monday, Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that North Korea is making progress on building work to expand key facilities at its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon.

Since last month, North Korea has been dealing with its first-ever COVID-19 outbreak. As of Monday, 4,198,890 people in the country were sick with fever. North Korea hasn't said how many people have tested positive for the coronavirus as a whole.

So far, Pyongyang has turned down any help from Washington and Seoul, even though the WHO says the COVID-19 situation there is getting worse.

"We hope that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un will be focused on helping his people meet this challenge of COVID-19, which we have all faced, and will return to the negotiating table instead of doing things that are provocative, dangerous, and destabilizing," Sherman said.

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