The United States called Monday on North Korea to end all “provocative” statements after the communist state lashed out at neighbouring South Korea as it denied planning a nuclear test.
After weeks of speculation that North Korea was planning a third nuclear test, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday that Pyongyang had no such plans “at present” but accused South Korea of trying to force the regime to do so.
“We’ll judge them by their actions, rather than their words,” US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington.
“It’s a good thing, obviously, that they are saying better things, but we continue to call on them to fulfill their international obligations to refrain from any provocative activity, including provocative rhetoric with regard to their neighbours,” she said.
Satellite pictures have suggested that North Korea is developing its nuclear capabilities and some analysts believe that young leader Kim Jong-Un needs to prove his mettle with a military test after a rocket launch flopped in April.
North Korea fired the rocket – in what it called an unsuccessful satellite launch – just weeks after signing an agreement with the United States in which it pledged to freeze any missile or nuclear tests or uranium enrichment.
The United States considered the launch a veiled missile test and suspended a plan to offer food aid to the impoverished country that would have been geared toward hungry young children and pregnant women.