U.S. Presses China for Tough Response to North Korea
The United States is pressing China to consider taking a variety of severe sanctions against North Korea, including the inspection of suspect ships and planes, as it tries to ratchet up the global response to Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, administration officials said Thursday.
But it is not clear that the Chinese government has the stomach for a heightened showdown with North Korea, these officials said, even though its criticism of the underground test on Monday was unusually vehement.
The administration’s initiative reflects a belief that the greatest threat posed by a nuclear North Korea is the leakage of critical weapons parts or fissile material to other states or terrorist organizations, rather than the prospect of North Korea’s making one of its neighbors a target for a bomb. President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, described the proliferation threat in some detail in a speech in Washington on Wednesday evening.
Read also John Pomfret’s perspective on why Beijing isn’t doing more to pressure Pyongyang.