November 24, 2010 11:02
The White House on Monday warned North Korea against attempts to heighten tensions with maneuvers like its unveiling of a new uranium enrichment facility.
"North Koreans have to be serious about living up to their obligations, and not having done so has put the sanctions regime in place that is the strongest the country has ever faced and has greatly increased the price of their noncompliance," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Asked if Washington believes that the threat is growing, Gibbs told reporters, "Well, look, I think that the threat has always been serious. We have certainly taken it as such and will continue to do so."
In a separate briefing, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, "Obviously, North Korea's claim to have a uranium enrichment program, if true, contradicts its own pledges and commitments and violates its international obligations."
"We will not be drawn into rewarding North Korea for bad behavior," he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Dave Lapan said that Washington has no immediate plans to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea. His remarks came after Defense Minister Kim Tae-young in the National Assembly talked about a plan to consider redeployment.
Lapan said it is too early to discuss how to respond to the North's uranium claims.
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