US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has urged South Korea to impose U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, agreed after its nuclear test almost two weeks ago. But she says Washington is still open to negotiations with North Korea. “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 program,” the US Secretary of State said.
In Seoul, some protestors called for more dialogue with the North. The government too in the past has favoured a less confrontational approach to Pyongyang. But as other demonstrators called for tough sanctions, and burned North Korean flags, there were reports Seoul has tightened cargo inspections.
Meanwhile, an envoy has travelled to Pyongyang, to deliver what officials say is a message from the Chinese President to the North’s leader Kim Jong Il. They say the visit could be ‘significant’ in resolving the crisis. China favours UN sanctions but has warned against wilfully expanding them.