South Korea and the United States will “maximize” diplomatic efforts to stop North Korea’s planned rocket launch, Seoul’s top nuclear envoy said as he left for talks in Washington.
Lim Sung-Nam’s US trip will be dominated by Pyongyang’s announcement on Saturday that it intends to launch a long-range rocket between December 10 and 22.
The United States and its key Asian allies South Korea and Japan have condemned the move as a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions triggered by Pyongyang’s two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Lim told Yonhap news agency that his talks with US officials would seek to “maximize diplomatic efforts and the coordination between South Korea and the US to block North Korea’s launch.”
Lim met in Seoul on Monday with ambassadors from China, Russia and Japan — other members of the six-party talks on North Korea — to discuss a common response.
Pyongyang insists the launch is a “peaceful” and purely scientific mission aimed at placing a satellite in orbit.