US to respond to North Korea’s rhetoric & provocation

Washington: Demanding that North Korea abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and abide by all of its international commitments, the White House on Tuesday said it is taking appropriate measures in response to Pyongyang's bellicose rhetoric and provocative actions.

"North Korea must abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and abide by all of its international commitments. We seek the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation through authentic and credible negotiations," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

The US and its international partners have a shared goal of ensuring the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and a strong common interest in peace and stability in Northeast Asia, he said.

Responding to questions on the latest North Korean statement that it will restart its plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material, Carney said it is another indication of its pattern of contradicting its own commitments and its pattern of violating its international obligations.

"As you know, that facility has been dormant as part of an agreement which North Korea, at least with this announcement, seems to be willing to violate. And there's a path open to North Korea to achieve the security, international respect and economic development that it seeks but this is surely not the path," he said.

"We are working very closely with our allies in the region, we are taking appropriate measures in response to the bellicose rhetoric and provocative actions out of North Korea but these actions and this rhetoric is in keeping with a pattern of behaviour by the regime in Pyongyang," Carney said.

US President Barack Obama, he said has expressed his concern about the actions and behaviour of the regime in North Korea.

"We have worked with our allies, most recognisably at the United Nations Security Council, when a resolution was passed unanimously with China and Russia, condemning North Korean behaviour in this arena," he said.

"We will continue to do that. And the steps we take, together with our partners, put more pressure on North Korea, further isolate North Korea, make it clear to the regime there that there is no benefit to the North Korean people to the path that they are taking. We obviously take the steps necessary to ensure the capacity to assist our allies and defend the United States," Carney said.

The White House spokesman said it's not a mystery to anyone that China has influence on North Korea or potentially has influence on them.

"We have in the past – and we are now – urged China to use that influence to try to affect North Korean behaviour. That is also true of our interactions with the Russians," he said.

"This is a broad diplomatic effort that includes coordination with our allies in Japan and the Republic of Korea as well as with China and Russia and others. So we're going to keep up that effort," he added.

Carney said North Korea understands fully what steps it needs to take to move down the path towards ending its isolation, and those steps have to be concrete towards abiding by its international obligations and that there's a system in place for that to move forward.