Clinton Questions Whether North Korea Wants Better Ties

Posted April 10th, 2012 at 10:15 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says North Korea's plans to launch a missile raises questions about its desires to improve ties with its neighbors and the United States.

Clinton said in a speech Tuesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland that just weeks ago, the North agreed to a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests.

Clinton said North Korean leaders view better relations with the outside world as a threat to the existence of their political system. She added that recent history strongly suggests that more provocation may follow a possible launch.

The secretary said a North Korean missile launch would be a serious violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. She said the United States and its U.N. allies would pursue appropriate action.

The deputy director of North Korea's space program, Ryu Gum Chol, denies plans to test-fire a nuclear-capable ballistic missile. He told VOA that the rocket will launch a weather satellite into orbit to honor the 100th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.

South Korean intelligence photographs also show that the North may be preparing what would be its third underground nuclear weapons test.

Clinton also said in Annapolis Tuesday that the United States and China are not on the brink of a new cold war in Asia.

She said a thriving China is good for America and a thriving America is good for China.