North Korea missile threats unite USA and China
The US and China have agreed to co-operate following North Korea’s decision to go ahead with a planned rocket launch next month.
Speaking at the start of a two-day summit on nuclear security in Seoul, the South Korean capital, US president Barack Obama expressed the two countries’ shared interest in preventing nuclear proliferation.
“We both have an interest in making sure that international norms surrounding non-proliferation, preventing destabilising nuclear weapons, is very important,” he said.
The show of unity comes despite the US arguing that China, North Korea’s biggest benefactor, allowed North Korea to continue its nuclear weapons programme by exerting little pressure to prevent it.
During the bilateral talks on Monday, Chinese president Hu Jintao labelled the issues as “very sensitive” and was quoted saying: “We do not hope to see a reversal of the hard-won momentum of relaxation of tension on the Korean peninsula.”
North Korea denies any wrong-doing and insists that the rocket is designed to carry an observation satellite into orbit.
However, the US, Japan and South Korea claim the launch would violate a UN ban on missile activity as the same technology could be used to develop long-range missiles.
The North Korean missile launch is expected to take place between the 12th and 16th April, coinciding with the anniversary of the birth of country’s founder, Kim II-sung.