U.S., South Korea hold talks to up response on North Korea nuclear threat

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WASHINGTON – Top U.S. and South Korea diplomats and defence officials are discussing their response to the growing threat from North Korea‘s nuclear and missile programs.

The meeting Wednesday comes weeks after the North’s most powerful nuclear test explosion to date, and days after its failed test launch of a ballistic missile.

READ MORE: Latest North Korea missile launch failed, US, South Korea officials say

On the agenda is how to strengthen the so-called “extended deterrence” provided by U.S. nuclear forces in defending South Korea. Seoul is looking to allay calls from conservatives at home who want South Korea to develop its own nuclear arsenal.

The talks are between Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Ash Carter, and their South Korean counterparts Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Defence Minister Han Min-koo.