The US Secretary of State is pushing for swift implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea. During a stop-over in Seoul Condoleeza Rice met with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts to rally opposition to Pyongyang’s nuclear activities.
Speculation is mounting that the North could be planning a second atomic test. Though Rice has said that would entail grave consequences she made clear the door to negotiations was still open. “What I do think it is very important that everyone takes stock of the leverage that we have to get North Korea to return to the six-party talks and negotiate seriously the dismantlement of its nuclear weapons programme.”
There has been some reticence in Beijing and Seoul over the implementation of the UN sanctions. And protesters in South Korea demonstrated against the measures calling for more dialogue with the North. The diplomatic drive to resolve the crisis has been stepped up – with a visit by a top Chinese envoy to Pyongyang. He is believed to have carried a message straight to the North’s reclusive leader calling on him to show restraint.