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US, China 'unified' in opposing North Korean missile launch: Clinton

 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Department ...
 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. (AP Phot...

US China

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the State Department ...

Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. (AP Phot...

The United States, China and negotiating partners are willing to discuss a range of responses, even UN action, if North Korea test fires a missile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.

After her talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Clinton said China as well as South Korea, Japan and Russia are committed to dismantling North Korea's nuclear program and to opposing its planned missile launch.

Under a landmark six-party agreement signed in 2007, North Korea agreed with the United States and the four other countries to scrap its weapons-grade nuclear program in exchange for energy aid.

However, not only has North Korea balked at their terms for verifying nuclear disarmament, it also insists it will launch a satellite that US officials say would amount to a missile test-fire in breach of UN resolutions.

"We are outspoken in our opposition to the North Korean's missile launch, and we believe that that is a unified position, and that each of the members of the six-party talks have attempted to dissuade North Korea from proceeding," Clinton said.

"And we are also agreed that we will discuss a response if we are not successful in convincing them not to go forward with what is a very provocative act," she said.

"And there are a range of options available to take action against the North Koreans in the wake of the missile launch, if they pursue that, but also to try to resume the six-party talks," said the chef US diplomat.

When asked whether the Chinese shared the US view that a missile launch would violate UN resolution 1718, she said: "I think that our partners in the Six-Party Talks are concerned about the missile launch."

"They are willing to address it if it does happen with us in a variety of ways, including the Security Council," she said.

The Clinton-Yang talks took place after State Department spokesman Robert Wood dismissed as "baseless" fresh North Korean charges that US-South Korean military exercises amounted to war preparations and accused Pyongyang of stoking more regional tensions.

North Korea's foreign ministry described the annual ongoing drill involving tens of thousands of troops as "nuclear war exercises designed to mount a pre-emptive attack," and vowed to take "every necessary measure to protect itself."

But Wood said: "They're baseless. They're nonsense, frankly... These exercises which take place, as you know, annually, are not a threat to the North."

North Korea's "bellicose rhetoric is not helpful, it can only increase tensions in the region," he added.

"And what we want to see happen is we want to see the North comply with its international obligations with regard to the six-party framework."


Updated : 2021-02-28 09:20 GMT+08:00