The United States condemned North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan as “dangerous and reckless” and pledged to do all American might to defend South Korea and Japan, but said it was open to dialogue with Pyongyang.
This action is destabilizing and demonstrates the DPRK’s flagrant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international security norms,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official Called.
She said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts to discuss “appropriate and robust joint and international responses.”
Sullivan reiterated the US “iron-clad” commitment to defending Japan and South Korea and said Washington will continue efforts to limit North Korea’s ability to advance its banned weapons programs.
The rocket fired on Thursday was the first to fly over Japan in five years, prompting a warning to residents to take cover and a temporary suspension of train operations in the country’s northern areas.
Daniel Kritenbrink, the State Department’s deputy secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said China must do more to combat North Korea’s sanctions circumvention in its coastal waters.
He added that Beijing and Russia should work to shut down Pyongyang’s procurement networks.
“The failure of the PRC and Russia to fully and fully implement their commitments…has only, we fear, emboldened the DPRK to subvert the UN Security Council, the international rules-based order and the global non-proliferation regime,” he said.
Kritenbrink said convincing North Korea to denuclearize should be an area of cooperation with China, but there are some in Beijing who want to use the issue as leverage in the broader strategic rivalry with Washington.
He reiterated that Washington was open to dialogue with North Korea without preconditions, and urged Pyongyang to “commit to serious and sustained diplomacy and refrain from further destabilizing activities.”
“Unfortunately … the only reaction we’ve seen so far is an increase in the number of ballistic missile launches and other provocative actions,” he said. “This is not a productive way forward for North Korea or any of us.”
Kritenbrink reiterated a US assessment that North Korea’s resumption of nuclear testing for the first time since 2017 is likely awaiting political approval.
He said such a “dangerous” act would “represent a serious escalation that would seriously threaten regional and international stability and security.”
“It is in the best interest of the international community to ensure that the DPRK knows that such an action is unanimously condemned, that the only way to long-term peace and stability is through negotiations,” he said.
Kritenbrink said Washington will respond “resolutely” to the growing North Korean threat and will take “all necessary measures involving all elements of American national power” to defend treaty allies South Korea and Japan.
“I don’t think anyone should doubt our outcome in terms of sanctions and other powers to impose costs on these actions,” he added.
Decades of US-led sanctions have not halted North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear bomb programs, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has shown no interest in turning back a failed path of diplomacy he chartered with US President Donald Trump.
https://www.independent.ie/news/north-korea-launches-missile-over-japan-as-us-pledges-to-defend-allies-42037884.html North Korea fires missiles over Japan as US promises to defend allies