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No change in N Korean military posture despite threat: US

April 02, 2013 10:22 IST

The United States does not see any change in the military posture of North Korea despite threat and recent rhetoric coming from its leadership, the White House said.

"I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we're hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilisations and positioning of forces," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Monday.

Still, the US is taking the threat coming from North Korea seriously. "We take this seriously. I've said in the past. We are vigilant and we are monitoring the Korean situation very diligently," Carney said.

"The actions we've taken are prudent, and they include, on missile defence, to enhance both the homeland and allied security, and others actions like the B-2 and B-52 flights, have been important steps to reassure our allies, demonstrate our resolve to the North, and reduce pressure on Seoul to take unilateral action. We believe this has reduced the chance of miscalculation and provocation," he said.

Responding to questions, Carney reiterated that the US has seen action to back up the rhetoric in the sense that they haven't seen significant changes in the North in terms of mobilisations or repositioning of forces, and that is important to note. "What that disconnects between the rhetoric and action means, I'll leave to the analysts to judge. We simply evaluate it and take necessary precautionary measures, and make clear to North Korea, together with our allies that this provocation behavior, provocative rhetoric only isolates them further; brings them no closer to rejoining the international community of nations -- in fact, moves them farther away from that potential and possibility," he said.

Carney said the US President Barack Obama and the administration judge the rhetoric and actions by the North Korean regime for what are actions and rhetoric that further isolate the regime, that demonstrate a repeated preference for bellicosity rather than tending to the needs of the North Korean people who suffer greatly under a regime that prioritises nuclear weapons and missile programs over the welfare of their own people.

"It has been our position, as well as the position of our allies, that North Korea needs to abide by its international obligations; it needs to do so in order to end its isolation and to better serve its people. Because this kind of rhetoric does not benefit the North Korean people, it does not benefit the North Korean regime, and it only isolates them further," Carney said.

The US, he asserted, is committed to maintaining peace and security in the region, as you know. "North Korea should stop its provocative threats and instead concentrate on abiding by its international obligations. And pursuit of nuclear and missile programs does not make it more secure but only increases its isolation and seriously undermines its ability to pursue economic development," Carney said.

Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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