The Obama administration's special
representative for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, says the United States and its
allies are prepared to take the steps necessary to address what he calls a
growing threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. But in testimony
to a Senate panel on Thursday, Bosworth expressed hope that the situation could
be resolved diplomatically and called on Pyongyang to return to disarmament
In the wake of North Korea's recent nuclear test and the
launching of several short-range missiles, U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth told the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States will do what is
necessary to defend its security and that of its allies.
States and our partners in the region will need to take the necessary steps to
assure our security in the face of this growing threat," said Stephen Bosworth.
"In the interest of all concerned, we very much hope North Korea will choose the
path of diplomacy rather than confrontation."
Bosworth said the Obama
administration is committed to finding a diplomatic resolution of the issue,
even as the United Nations Security Council moves to increase sanctions on
Pyongyang over its nuclear test.
He expressed hope that North Korea
would return to six-party disarmament talks that include Japan, South Korea,
Russia and China as well as the United States. He even sounded a note of
"I think that if we remain patient and persevere in our policy,
that the chances of eventual progress are good," he said.
reiterated that the United States remains open to bilateral talks with North
Korea within the context of the six-party framework. But he underscored that the
United States would not accept North Korea as a nuclear-weapons
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a
Massachusetts Democrat, said the U.S. approach to North Korea would have a
"How we deal with North Korea this time around will
have grave implications, not just for maintaining peace and stability in
northeast Asia, for alliances with South Korea and Japan, but it will
particularly have an impact with our ongoing nonproliferation efforts with
respect to Iran and any other would-be nuclear power," said Senator
On the issue of the two U.S. journalists sentenced by a North
Korean court to 12 years of hard labor, Bosworth said Washington is exploring
"all possible ways" to bring about their release on humanitarian grounds.