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Kerry says N. Korea's threats 'unacceptable,' vows to protect S. Korea
SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that recent warlike threats from North Korea are "unacceptable by any standard" and the U.S. will defend itself and South Korea from any threat from the North.

   Speaking at a news conference in Seoul after talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Kerry said, "We are all united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power and the rhetoric that we're hearing from North Korea is unacceptable by any standard."

   Kerry emphasized, however, that "the real goal should not be reinforcing the fact that we will defend our allies, which we will, but it should be emphasizing for everybody the possibilities of peace, the possibilities of reunification, the possibilities of a very different future for the people of the Republic of Korea and ultimately North Korea."

   Kerry's comments came after meeting with President Park Geun-hye and Yun earlier in the day amid sky-high tensions over indications that Pyongyang is ready to launch at least one mid-range ballistic missile, on the heels of months of provocative action and warlike rhetoric from Pyongyang.

   kdh@yna.co.kr
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