U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday the United States has to see positive action from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, before it can take Kim Jong Un’s government seriously and discuss ways to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Haley told reporters after emergency closed consultations of the Security Council on Wednesday that the DPRK leader is not “a rational person” taking rational actions.
She joined ambassadors from Japan and South Korea in calling on the U.N. Security Council to increase their efforts to get DPRK’s attention.
Haley said the DPRK’s military actions over the past year are “not normal” and concerning to all nations.
Haley also defended the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile system in South Korea. “We are not going to leave South Korea standing there with the threat of North Korea facing them and not help.”
Cho Tae-yul, South Korean Ambassador to the U.N., said this isn’t time to talk about freezing or dialogue, as all options have been exhausted, only means to change DPRK behavior is sanctions. Koro Bessho, Japan’s Ambassador to the U.N., said goal is denuclearization, not freezing.
Earlier, China proposed “double suspension” to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
“As a first step, DPRK may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea military exercises,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress on Wednesday.
This will help the parties to break out of the security dilemma and return to the negotiating table, Wang said.
Using a railway metaphor, Wang compared the DPRK and the U.S.-ROK to two accelerating trains, coming toward each other.
“Are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?” He asked. “The priority is to flash the red light and apply the brakes.”
Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue.
China has a strong commitment to denuclearizing the peninsula, maintaining stability there, and resolving the issue peacefully, the minister said.
China has done its best to bring the DPRK and the U.S. back to the negotiation table and push forward the six-party talks, Wang said, adding that China has made its contribution to adopting and implementing UN Security Council resolutions.
Wang continued his metaphor by saying that China is willing to be a “railway switchman” to switch the issue back to the right track.
“The simultaneous launch which they said was done by a part of the military which is responsible, which is tasked, according to them for striking US bases in Japan when necessary, there is again something which shows us that they are really serious in these aggressive actions.”
Story compiled with the information from the Associated Press, Xinhua and CGTN.