US knocks back China’s ‘PR’ talks call on North Korea
Posted by Author on November 30, 2010
AFP via Sydney Morning Herald, November 30, 2010 –
The White House has brushed aside China’s call for new six-nation talks on North Korea, saying it would amount to a “PR activity” unless Pyongyang changed its behaviour.
“The North Koreans need to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose in ending their aggressive behaviour,” spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters on Monday.
He said the North Koreans also needed to “let the world know they’re serious … about coming to the table and living up to the obligations that they signed up for but then walked away from.”
He added that the United States and other countries “were not interested in stabilising the region through a series of PR (public relations) activities”.
China on Sunday called for emergency consultations among envoys of the stalled six-nation talks on the North’s nuclear disarmament as tensions rose in the peninsula following a North Korean artillery attack on a South Korean island last week that killed four people and wounded another 18.
Japan has expressed reluctance over the talks, saying it cannot be “positive towards consultations” unless the North faces up to the attack and its nuclear activities.
South Korea meanwhile deployed rocket launchers and extra artillery on the frontline island as its leader vowed to respond to any fresh provocations.
The US ambassador to the United Nations had earlier urged tighter enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea and called on China to play a “responsible leadership role” in defusing the crisis.
Susan Rice also vowed that the United States will “confront the threat” posed by North Korea as US and South Korean forces held their largest-ever naval exercises off the coast of the divided peninsula.
North Korea stormed out of the six-party talks – which included the two Koreas, Japan, the United States, Russia and China – in April 2009 after launching a long-range rocket.
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