Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tighter sanctions or wider incentives for North Korea?

The United States is concerned about the possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea to military-ruled Myanmar, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Clinton said she was worried about the possibility of military links between the two countries, both regarded as pariahs in the West.

Clinton will consult regional players later on Wednesday in Phuket about giving North Korea a choice between tighter sanctions if it pursues its nuclear program and wider incentives if it abandons them, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials said their main focus was to carry out U.N. Security Council resolution 1874, which bans all North Korean arms exports, authorizes U.N. member states to inspect North Korean sea, air and land cargo and requires them to seize and destroy any goods transported in violation of the sanctions.

"We would like to paint a picture for North Korea of a very stark choice," said one senior official who spoke to reporters on condition that he not be identified. "If they continue on the current path, it's a path that leads to greater tensions in northeast Asia, more isolation, more steps aimed at ... the regime," he added.


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