Terming North Korea a “global threat”, the US said today that it expects India to do more to help America and its international allies exert pressure on Pyongyang to give up its missile and nuclear weapons programme. North Korea fired of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yesterday which Pyongyang’s top leader Kim Jong-Un said gave his country the capability to anywhere in the US. The Hwasong-15 missile is believed to have flown 1,000 km from North Korea before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, shattering a two-month calm in Northeast Asia. “We have a wonderful relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government of India. A part of our constant conversations with those nations is do more to help with North Korea. Do more to help,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters. “It (North Korea) is a global problem. It is a global threat. We hope that India will do more and we’ll continue to have those conversations with the government,” she said.
Nauert said China has a unique leverage with North Korea through trade and Russia is another country that has some unique leverage with China. “So we encourage China to use that leverage. We have a good dialogue with China. As many of you know, we had the four dialogues with China this year, and that culminated in the final meeting where the President and the Secretary went to Beijing,” she said. “So, like with other countries, we recognise that China can do more; many countries can do more. But China recognises, we believe, the threat that North Korea poses. We believe they do,” she said.
Nauert said China had conveyed to the US in the past that they share America’s commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. “We expect that they will adhere to that and follow through,” she said. Expressing concern over the latest missile test by North Koreans, she said it was of great concern to the entire world. “We have seen two successful UN Security Council resolutions that were unanimously passed late summer and over the fall, including Russia and China as members of that. We have put together our maximum pressure campaign, which many nations have taken part in. That campaign consists of the US and many other nations issuing sanctions,” she said.
Nauert said the US had also asked other countries to shrink the size of the North Korean footprint in many other countries. “We have asked other nations to kick out North Korean guest workers, simply because those North Korean guest workers are essentially working as slave labourers. They don’t get to keep the money that they make,” Nauert said. “Much of that money goes back to North Korea, and we recognise that that money, as it doesn’t go home to their families – we see the conditions of the people, we see the humanitarian rights issues in North Korea. Their people are starving,” she said.
Nauert said a part of the US’ “maximum pressure campaign” was to choke off that money supply that goes into the North Korean regime. “We have seen more than 20 countries around the world jump on board that maximum pressure campaign and start to take place with those activities: shrinking the North Korean guest workers, kicking out ambassadors, those types of things,” she said. The US regards that campaign as being successful, but the entire world acknowledges that this is not something that will necessarily change overnight, she said. “That campaign is a long effort and we will continue to push ahead with that. Obviously, this new development is something that’s very serious,” she said.