• Esper Again Describes N. Korea, Iran As 'Rogue States'
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has again described North Korea and Iran as "rogue states" that conduct aggressive activities.

In a video message released Tuesday to thank members of the U.S. force for their contribution to implementing the National Defense Strategy, Esper said they have "deterred aggressive activities perpetrated by rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, as well as near-peers such as Russia and China."

He also listed achievements such as removing terrorists and preserving the freedom of navigation in contested waters.

Esper used the word "rogue" to describe North Korea and Iran in February as well as in December.

His remarks come as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is visiting Seoul amid stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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