US confronts China over North Korean rocket launcher

US confronts China over North Korean rocket launcher

US confronts China over North Korean rocket launcher

The White House has accused China of supplying North Korea with technology for a missile launcher that was showcased in a military parade in Pyongyang last week.

"We've raised the allegations with the Chinese government, as part of our ongoing close consultations on North Korea," RIA Novosti quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney as saying at a daily news briefing Monday. Carney was reacting to reports that the vehicle, a transporter-erector launcher, may have been of Chinese origin.

US officials believe Chinese company Hubei Sanjiang sold components used in constructing the launcher, according to the Wall Street Journal. The launcher was seen carrying what appeared to be North Korea's latest missile.
The report said China's involvement would constitute a breach of a UN arms embargo.

China maintains it did not violate UN resolutions on North Korea. British defence analysis and publishing group Jane's has said the UN Security Council was investigating the claims.

Carney's comments came amid increased tensions on the Korean peninsula, following Pyongyang's failed rocket launch earlier this month which the US said was cover for a ballistic missile technology test. Western nations fear North Korea may be preparing for another nuclear test.

Carney said the US would "continue to work with the international community, including China, to enforce sanctions against North Korea's ballistic missile programme and nuclear programme". Chinese President Hu Jintao Monday reaffirmed strong ties with Pyongyang during a meeting in Beijing with a North Korean envoy, and appealed for "peace and stability" on the Korean peninsula, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, North Korea has threatened to wage a "sacred war" against Seoul over what it termed as "insulting" remarks by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak about the centenary celebrations of North Korea's late founding leader Kim Il-sung.

South Korea said it has deployed cruise missiles capable of hitting anywhere in North Korea.