Following is a joint statement issued by the United States and the Republic of Korea on April 13, 2013 in Seoul.
The 60-year alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea is crucial for security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States reaffirms its commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea in the wake of recent unacceptable provocations by North Korea.
Both sides agree on the importance of the denuclearization of North Korea, knowing that North Korea's dangerous nuclear and missile programs threaten not only its neighbors, but also its own people.
The United States stands vigilantly by the Republic of Korea's side, and is prepared for and capable of defending and protecting itself and its allies. Both of our countries are taking prudent measures - both military and diplomatic - to enhance our security. At the same time, the two countries remain committed to the goal of peaceful denuclearization. In this context, the United States welcomes the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula proposed by President Park Geun-hye.
We will continue working with all Six-Party partners and the international community to make clear that North Korea must adhere to its international obligations and commitments or face further isolation. We will continue to encourage North Korea to make the right choice. If North Korea does so, we are prepared to implement the commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Joint Statement. But Pyongyang must prove its seriousness by taking meaningful steps to abide by its international obligations.