U.S. calls for unified response to N. Korea's 'negative choices'

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U.S. calls for unified response to N. Korea's 'negative choices'

As North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong-un, continues to make wrong choices, it's very important for the international community to stay united against Pyongyang, the U.S. State Department official said Friday.

"It's really a pretty sad story, because the new North Korean leader has a choice to make, as the secretary has said so many times," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has consistently called for Kim to make a right choice to break his nation's isolation and feed hungry people there instead of pursuing weapons development programs.

Since taking power in December 2011, Kim, believed to be in his late 20s, has been taking a provocative direction -- two long-range rocket tests and unrelenting military threats.

Earlier this week, Pyongyang said it would conduct another nuclear test and continue to launch missiles targeting the U.S. in retaliation for new U.N. sanctions on the communist regime.

The North also threatened to take unspecified "physical countermeasures" if the South joins sanctions on it.

The pattern of Pyongyang's choices is of concern, Nuland said. "That's why it's been so important to keep the international community united in respon
se to these negative choices." She agreed that China's role is crucial.

"They have, at various times, been able to make clear that the continued support of Beijing in terms of trade, aid, the energy relationship, etc., depend
s on North Korea making the right choices," Nuland said. "Obviously, North Korea remains quite dependent on its aid and trade relationship with Beijing." She noted that China gave a nod to a new U.N. Security Council resolution against North Korea for its December rocket launch.

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