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Closely monitoring North Korean moves says White House

Washington, Apr 5, 2013, (PTI): 14:33 IST
Amidst reports that North Korea has moved its missile to its east coast, the White House said that it is closely monitoring the situation in the region, but at the same time reiterated its believe in diplomacy to resolve the current tension with Pyongyang.

South Korea defence minister Kim Kwan-Jin yesterday said the missile could reach a "considerable distance" but not the US mainland and it could be aimed at test-firing or military drills.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation on the Peninsula. Threats and provocative actions will not bring the DPRK the security, international respect, and economic development that it seeks," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

"We continue to urge the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama's call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with its international obligations," Carney said.

Carney said the US President has been regularly updated on both the actions and statements by the North Koreans, as well as the responsive measures, prudent measures that we've taken.

"We are obviously consulting regularly with our allies in Seoul and Tokyo, as well as other allies and partners. We are working with other nations, including the Russians and the Chinese, in particular the need to use the influence that they have with the North Korean regime to try to get the ratchet down the provocative behavior and actions, and to maintain stability in the region," he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday. He is scheduled to travel to the county next week along with stops in South Korea and Japan.

Refusing to go into intelligence matters, Carney said actions and provocative rhetoric only serve to further isolate North Korea, to harm the North Korean economy, to set back any efforts the North Koreans might want to take towards rejoining the community of nations.

"There is a path available to North Korea, a path that would allow it to rejoin the international community, but it would require commitment to renounce its nuclear weapons ambitions and to abide by its international obligations," he said.

Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, "We are taking the appropriate steps in terms of defence of the United States, in terms of defence of our allies, both the Republic of Korea and Japan. We are making those clear, and we are watching very closely, obviously, what the DPRK is up to."

North Korea is officially known as DPRK or Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The DPRK knows what it needs to do if it wants to make a different choice. If it wants to have support from the international community economically, in terms of supporting its people, it's got to come back into compliance with its international obligations.

"The President's been clear, the Secretary's been clear, that if they make a different choice, we will respond. But unfortunately, all we've seen in response to those offers has been more aggressive rhetoric," Nuland said.

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