Washington, March 9: The United States (US) on Thursday rejected the China’s call to reduce the tension in the Korean peninsula saying all previous attempts to pursuade Pyongyang to halt its nuclear programme have failed and there is a need to find "new ways" to engage.
Mark Toner, the US State Department's acting spokesman said the defence cooperation between the US and South Korea cannot be compared to the blatant disregard the North has shown to international laws. He further said that all previous attempts to persuade North Korea to halt its nuclear programme have failed and there is a need to find new ways to engage.
He said the US is open to dialogue with North Korea, but the onus is on North Korea to take meaningful actions toward secularization and refrain from provocations. Pyongyang's behaviour has not been rational and the world needs to understand that concerns over its nuclear programme "isn't about the US and North Korea," Toner said, adding that "every nation needs to look at how we can better respond."
"Efforts up until today, whether it's six-party talks, whether it's sanctioned, all of the efforts that we have taken this far to attempt to persuade North Korea to again engage in meaningful negotiations, have fallen short. So we need to look at new ways to convince them, to persuade them that it's in their interest," Toner added.
Toner said China is "obviously concerned" about the threat to the region from North Korea's nuclear weapons program. "That's legitimate. We all share concern over North Korea's actions. We differ somewhat in our approach," he said. "It's going to be an opportunity for him to sit with his counterparts in China, in Korea, and in Japan, and talk through what our options are and new ways to look at resolving the situation," Toner added.
Earlier on Wednesday, China proposed a formula to avoid a "head-on collision" between the US and North Korea, suggesting that its close ally suspends its nuclear programme and the US and the South stop their military exercises in the tensed peninsula. Importantly, North Korea has in 2016 carried out two nuclear tests and 20 ballistic missile tests, all in violation of international law, according to US authorities.