Int'l community concerned about N Korean ballistic missile threat: White House

Washington: The international community is concerned about North Korea's "destabilising" rhetoric that it will launch an inter-continental ballistic missile and the reclusive country's refusal to abide by the obligations about its nuclear weapons programme, the White House has said.

"The Obama administration, the United States, and I think the international community take seriously and is concerned about the destabilising rhetoric and sometimes destabilising actions that are undertaken by the regime in North Korea," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

That is why the US has responded to mobilise the international community to impose the toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea because of its concern about the reclusive country's rhetoric and actions.

Carter said over the weekend the US military retained significant capability to protect the America and its allies.

"We are prepared to use that capability when necessary," he warned, adding that America's preference is to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, deescalate tensions, and bring North Korea back into the community of nations.

"But right now, because of North Korea's refusal to abide by international obligations when it comes to their nuclear weapons programme, they are an outlier, they are excluded, they are isolated in a way that is certainly more so than any other country in the world," Earnest said.

The US is ready to face any challenge from North Korea, said State Department Spokesman John Kirby.

"Now we are well past time for Pyongyang to prove that they're willing and able to return to the Six-Party Talk process and to stop their provocative moves, their destabilising moves to continue to develop ballistic missile capabilities as well as a nuclear programme," he said.

The entire international community is aligned against them in terms of exerting more pressure.

"We take his comments seriously. Regrettably, we have to. But I'm not going to get into our own estimate or assessment of where he might be with respect to progress on this most recent threat," he said.

However, he refused to give any hint on future of the US actions against North Korea.

"I'm not going to speculate about future tactical developments one way or the other. In addition to the international pressure being applied through a very robust sanctions regime, and the fact that we're not ruling out additional sanctions if required through the UN, that the US maintains a significant deterrent capability militarily in the region," Kirby said.

"That's all been part and parcel of the Asia Pacific rebalance. We are confident that we have the capabilities in the Asia Pacific region to protect our interests," he said.


Updated Date: Jan 10, 2017 09:47 AM

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