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White House says DPRK has no nuclear missile capability

English.news.cn   2013-04-13 05:24:40            
 • The U.S. said Friday it did not believe the DPRK had the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile.
 • White House spokesman said the U.S. continued to closely monitor the DPRK's nuclear program.
 • Obama on Thursday urged the DPRK to end its "belligerent approach".

 

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The White House said on Friday that Washington did not believe the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile.

"First of all, I want to be clear that North Korea has not demonstrated the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing.

But he noted that the United States continued to closely monitor the DPRK's nuclear program. Carney once again called upon Pyongyang to honor its international obligations.

"We have responded to the series of provocative actions, as well as the stepped-up bellicose rhetoric emanating from Pyongyang, by taking a series of prudent measures to ensure that our homeland and our allies are defended," he said, citing the step of enhancing the missile defense system.

On Thursday, U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn said at a hearing that intelligence indicated the DPRK might have acquired the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead with its ballistic missile.

"DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles," Lamborn read from, according to him, an unclassified intelligence assessment by the Pentagon. "However, the reliability will be low. "

Tensions have been heightened on the Korean Peninsula since the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12 in protest against joint military drills between the Republic of Korea and the United States.

The DPRK has declared "a state of war" with the South and threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike for self-defense. The country on Tuesday urged all foreign organizations, companies and tourists in the South to evacuate in case of war, saying the DPRK "does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war" as the situation on the peninsula "is inching close to a thermonuclear war."

Obama on Thursday urged the DPRK to end its "belligerent approach," saying "nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean Peninsula."

In Seoul on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated that the DPRK will not be accepted as a nuclear power. The chief U.S. diplomat also said a missile launch by Pyongyang would be "a huge mistake."

Related:

DPRK unacceptable as nuclear power: Kerry

SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated here on Friday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not be accepted as a nuclear power.

"We are all united in the fact that North Korea (DPRK) will not be accepted as a nuclear power," Kerry told a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se. "The rhetoric that we're hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable by any standard."  Full story

Commentary: Washington key to settling Korean Peninsula crisis

BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) -- As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to South Korea, China and Japan, he needs to be aware that his country holds the key to alleviating the suffocating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The visit comes as the peninsula seems to be on the edge of military conflict. Reports about an imminent missile launch by Pyongyang have spread jitters across Northeast Asia and the broader international community. Full story

Seoul reaffirms call on Pyongyang for dialogue

SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday reaffirmed its call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to come to the dialogue table, seeking an about-face on the political deadlock with its northern neighbor.

"We effectively proposed a dialogue (to the DPRK) yesterday. President also mentioned it with the same intent yesterday evening, " Kim Hyung-seok, spokesman of the Ministry of Unification told reporters at a press briefing.  Full story

South Korea will not “fire first”: ambassador to China

BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhuanet) -- South Korea will not resort to forces first amid the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, the country’s ambassador to China said.

“The Republic of Korea is not going to take any provocative military behavior now, and will not do so in the future”, Ambassador Lee Kyu-hyung told Xinhuanet in an exclusive interview Wednesday.  Full story

Editor: Yang Lina
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