The United States and its strong Asian allies South Korea and Japan on Monday warned that North Korea will risk facing more sanctions and further isolation if it conducted another nuclear test and called on the Communist nation to take a "different path" to refrain from further provocations.
The warning came after top diplomats from the three countries met in Seoul and discussed ways to curb further provocations by North Korea amid concerns that it may be preparing for a third nuclear test.
The talks involved U.S. special envoy for North Korea policy Glyn Davies, Seoul's chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama.
"I think it would be a serious miscalculation and mistake if North Korea worked to engage in a nuclear test," Davies told reporters after the talks. "If there is further provocation such as a nuclear test, there will be swift and sure reaction by the international community," Davies was quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying.
Concerns have grown after North Korea's failed launch of a long-range rocket on April 13 in defiance of U.N. resolutions, prompting the international community to tighten sanctions against the impoverished country.
Asked about whether there are any imminent signs of a nuclear test in North Korea, Davies said: "I don't have any particular word to convey to you about that. We all have followed the same information that you've seen about what may or may not be going on in North Korea to prepare for a nuclear test."
"We are united in our resolve, to respond not just (as) the three allies, but Russia and China as well," Davies said, adding he hopes that North Korea does not "miscalculate" and will make "a different set of decisions."
Earlier in the day, South Korean envoy Lim also called on North Korea's new leadership to take a "different path" toward peace and change its course of provocations.
"In response to the failed launch, the international community, including the three of us, as well as China and Russia, has been able to send a clear and consistent message to Pyongyang that North Korea should refrain from any further provocations," Lim said. "There will be a different path for them if they make the right decision," he said, adding that he hopes that Monday's talks could "lead North Korea to the right side of peace."
Talking to the media separately after the talks, Sugiyama also echoed the remarks by Lim and Davies.
by RTT Staff Writer
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