Categorically ruling out the possibility of accepting North Korea as a nuclear power, the United States said that Pyongyang has the peaceful option to enter into negotiations for the denuclearisation.
“They have an option, and that option is to enter into negotiations for the denuclearisation, which is China’s policy also, and to begin to focus on the needs of their people, which we also have made it clear we are prepared to help them with if they will bring their behaviour in line with the United Nations and global community requirements,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Tuesday.
North Korea needs to make it clear that they are prepared to have a serious discussion about denuclearisation, Mr. Kerry said at a joint press availability with the visiting South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se.
“We are prepared to enter into a dialogue negotiation if they are serious, if they will stop the provocations and engage in a serious discussion. We have always said that we would like to try to resolve the problems of the entire peninsula. That means making peace.
“But making peace does not involve having a nuclear north and a disadvantaged Republic of Korea to the south. So they know very well what the terms are here,” Mr. Kerry said.
“Situation on the Korean Peninsula or tension is getting higher on the Korean Peninsula, and is critically important for the U.S. and South Korea to enhance its defence capabilities.
“If North Korea decides to give up its nuclear ambitions and to become a member of the international community, we are prepared to resume our talks in terms of putting in place a peace process on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Yun said in response to a question.
Mr. Kerry said if the North Koreans restart its plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material, as announced earlier in the day, would be in direct violation of their international obligations.
“So that in itself would be a breach of international standard and requirement, it would be a provocative act and completely contrary to the road that we have travelled all of these years from the Agreed Framework forward. So we’ll have to wait and see what happens with respect to that, but it is a direct violation of their international obligations and would be a very serious step,” he said.
Mr. Kerry said the new North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un has chosen a path which is provocative, dangerous and reckless.
The U.S. will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear state. I reiterate again the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that,” Mr. Kerry asserted.
“No one takes lightly, least of all the President of the U.S., what has been happening, which is precisely why the President made the decision to redeploy missile defence with respect to the U.S. itself as well as to take other preparations in the region and to send a very clear signal to our allies and the North alike that the United States will defend our allies and that we will not be subject to irrational or reckless provocation,” he said.
The U.S. and the international community, he said, believes there is a very simple way for North Korea to rejoin the community of nations and make it clear that they want to pursue a peaceful path.
“They can come back to the table and join all of those other countries, including their nearest neighbour and partner, China, obviously shared nearest neighbour with the Republic of Korea, but China which has such an important role to play and which has always maintained a closer relationship to the North than any other country,” he said.
Mr. Kerry and his South Korean counterpart during the meeting discussed the current situation in the region in view of the recent provocative actions and statements coming from Pyongyang.
“More than anything else, I discussed with Secretary Kerry the serious nature of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea’s nuclear testing as well as the series of threats from the North. We agreed to further strengthen credible and robust deterrence vis-à-vis North Korea’s nuclear and conventional provocations,” he said.
Both the leaders agreed that North Korea should abandon its nuclear ambitions and bellicose rhetoric, he said.
“Situation on the Korean Peninsula or tension is getting higher on the Korean Peninsula, and is critically important for the US and South Korea to enhance its defence capabilities. If North Korea decides to give up its nuclear ambitions and to become a member of the international community, we are prepared to resume our talks in terms of putting in place a peace process on the Korean Peninsula,” he added.