Blinken says he urged China to encourage N. Korea to act responsibly

June 19, 2023

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on China to use its influence on Pyongyang to stop the reclusive country from making further provocations, he said Monday, amid anticipation that North Korea may soon launch a space rocket in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Blinken insisted China is in a “unique” position to encourage North Korea to act responsibly.

“We also spoke about North Korea’s increasingly reckless actions and rhetoric,” Blinken said of his ongoing visit to Beijing.

“All members of the international community have an interest in encouraging the DPRK to act responsibly, to stop launching missiles, to start engaging on its nuclear program,” the top U.S. diplomat told a press conference, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

His remarks follow a failed attempt by North Korea late last month to launch a space launch vehicle carrying what it claimed to be a military reconnaissance satellite.

The U.S. has declared the attempted launch a violation of multiple UNSC resolutions that prohibit North Korea from acquiring or using any ballistic missile technology.

Pyongyang, however, said it will continue to launch space launch vehicles until it succeeds, indicating a potential second launch in the near future.

Blinken highlighted China’s influence over Pyongyang.

“China is in a unique position to press Pyongyang to engage in dialogue and to end its dangerous behavior,” he told the press conference.