The United States and South Korea provided a stern warning to North Korea Thursday, pledging that Kim Jong Un's regime would end immediately if the country used nuclear weapons on other nations.
In a statement, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said that "any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies and partners, including the use of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime."
On Wednesday, North Korea reportedly fired 23 missiles around the time the U.S. and South Korea were conducting joint air force exercises in that region.
Kim also made "veiled threats" about using nuclear weapons in recent days, according to Fox News.
Last month, North Korea reportedly flew 12 warplanes near the South Korean border.
South Korea, in turn, responded with a flight brigade of 30 warplanes.
The two military groups never engaged during that time.
The tone of Thursday's joint statement runs consistent with what U.S. officials offered last week, when the Pentagon and three other U.S. defense organizations issued a similarly strong warning against North Korea.
As Newsmax chronicled then, the National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and Missile Defense Review had signed off on a Pentagon assessment of major policy documents — outlining a range of measures the U.S. has implemented to defend against a number of global challenges, involving the governments of Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea.
And according to Newsweek, the portion of the assessment devoted to North Korea included a "direct and explicit threat to Pyongyang."
"Our strategy for North Korea recognizes the threat posed by its nuclear, chemical, missile and conventional capabilities, and in particular the need to make clear to the Kim regime the dire consequences should it use nuclear weapons," the Nuclear Posture Review stated then.
Also from Newsmax, the Biden administration disclosed Wednesday that North Korea would soon supply Russia with a "significant" number of artillery shells for its war with Ukraine.
In a press briefing, John Kirby, the White House's National Security Council spokesman, acknowledged that U.S. officials had previously been given information about the Russians' request for military shells from North Korea.
Kirby said the artillery shipments have already begun.
"We're not talking dozens here. It's a significant number of artillery shells," said Kirby, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We're still monitoring this to determine if the shipments have been actually received."
The timing of the North Korean shipments coincides with the Ukrainian army reportedly making strong advances against the Russian troops, particularly in the eastern regions of Ukraine.
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