White House Official: China Needs to Do More, US-South Korea Joint Military Exercises Possible in Coming Days

Nov 23, 2010 6:31pm

A White House official tells ABC News that the U.S. is going to spend a great deal of effort trying to get China to take a more “robust” stand against North Korea’s actions.

“We need to send a strong signal to the Chinese that they need to stand up to North Korea,” the official says, adding that Russia’s statement condemning this attack was much stronger than after the North Koreans sank the ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772) in March 2010.

“There’s a greater degree of alarm in the international community,” the official said, though China needs to be worked on.

There are myriad actions the U.S. is discussing with allies, including action at the United Nations Security Council and further sanctions. No decisions have been made yet, the consultation process is in the “initial stages.”

One possibility we may see in the coming days: more joint US-South Korea military exercises, to demonstrate solidarity and support.

This will likely be discussed when the president talks to South Korean President Lee this evening at 9:30 pm EST.

President Obama spent 20 minutes in the Situation Room late afternoon, discussing North Korea with top national security advisers.

The Obama administration is “not looking to escalate” this situation, the official said. “We don’t see this as North Korea wanting to go to war.”

One step you may not see that has happened in the past is “rushing into six party talks,” the official said, trying to get North Korea back at the table with other superpowers. “We see that as rewarding bad behavior.”

-Jake Tapper

 

 

 

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