North Korea will again be taken to the UN Security Council if, as is widely expected, it goes ahead with the launch of a long-range rocket later this month, according to U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner.
Toner, who was speaking during a departmental briefing Wednesday, also attempted to counter concerns that there is not much more that can be done in terms of sanctions against Pyongyang.
“If North Korea does, in fact, proceed with a launch, we would seek action by the UN Security Council,” he announced, “but I’m not going to get into what that might be.”
Nevertheless, “There’s always ways to toughen enforcement of sanctions. They can always be tweaked or modified so that there’s better enforcement of existing sanctions.”
However, Toner also reminded reporters that the U.S., along with South Korea and Japan, is currently focused on attempting to forestall the launch, saying, “We don’t want to, obviously, talk about actions before there’s been a launch. What we’re hoping to do is dissuade North Korea for carrying out this launch.”
“The Secretary [of State] has been very clear that they have an important choice to make, the leadership within North Korea,” he went on. “And to date, they’ve consistently made the wrong choice, the wrong choice for the people of North Korea. But that doesn’t mean we’re backing away from our very clear message to them that there’s two paths here.”
“There’s a path of engagement with the outside world and there’s the path they’re on, and the path they’re on is not going to get them anywhere where they need to go for the 21st century.”