United Nations: US officials have dismissed China’s suggestion that North Korea could halt its missile and nuclear test in exchange for a suspension of US military activity in the region, a media report said.
The US State Department said on Wednesday that it was not “a viable deal” while its UN Ambassador said North Korea was not “rational”, the BBC reported.
China’s suggestion came after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles, breaking international sanctions.
Meanwhile the US too, begun deploying a missile defence shield Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) in South Korea.
It is also conducting its annual large-scale drills with the South Korean military, which routinely infuriate Pyongyang, the BBC report added.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that the security situation on the Korean peninsula was like “two accelerating trains, coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way”.
A mutual halt of military operations by all parties would be the first step towards easing tensions and reopening negotiations, he said.
But US state department spokesman Mark Toner said this was like comparing “apples and oranges”, the BBC said in its report.
“What we’re doing in terms of our defence co-operation with South Korea is in no way comparable to the blatant disregard that North Korea has shown with respect to international law.”
However, he added the US needed to look for new strategies on North Korea.
“All of the efforts we have taken thus far to attempt to persuade North Korea to engage in meaningful negotiations have fallen short, to be honest,” he said.
“So we need to look at new ways to convince them, to persuade them, that it’s in their interests,” Toner added.
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Wednesday, having issued a stronger than usual condemnation of the latest North Korean test.
It accused North Korea of “increasingly destabilising behaviour” which risked sparking a regional arms race.
The US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley later told reporters that “all options were on the table” regarding North Korea.
But she said that the world was “not dealing with a rational person” when it came to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Immediately after the Security Council consultations on North Korea on Wednesday morning, Haley joined a joint stakeout with her counter parts from Japan Koro Bessho and South Korea Cho Tae-yul.
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