Rice: N. Korea will 'pay a price' for acts

May 26, 2009 at 4:50 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- North Korea will "pay a price" for its nuclear test and any other provocative actions, a top U.S. diplomat said Tuesday.

If North Korea's leaders continue to act provocatively, "they're going to find that they will pay a price, because the international community is very clear: This is not acceptable. It won't be tolerated, and they won't be intimidated," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told CNN Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to Washington Tuesday from meetings with U.N. officials in New York, reiterating the importance of a "quick, unified response to North Korea's provocative action," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

Clinton "remains actively engaged in making sure that the international community conveys a strong message to North Korea that North Korea will pay a price for the path they're on if they don't reverse" direction, Kelly said during a daily media briefing.

Rice said the United States would pursue within the U.N. Security Council a new resolution on North Korea, "a strong resolution with teeth."

A response to Monday's nuclear test and Tuesday's missile firings could take different forms, including economic, Rice said.

While not wanting to reveal discussions, Rice said, "(There) is a wide recognition in the Security Council and, indeed, more broadly that North Korea is on a path that is isolating itself even further, that doesn't serve their interest nor the other interests of the region."

Rice said the United States would work with countries in the region -- China, South Korea and Japan -- and other players "to agree on a package that is appropriate, that is balanced and that applies the kind of pressure that we hope and expect will cause North Korea to change its course."

Topics: Ian Kelly
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