- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Obama administration Tuesday called on North Korea to “cease its provocative threats,” following the U.N.condemnation of recent actions by the communist country, which responded with vows to isolate itself further from much of the international community.

“We call on North Korea to cease its provocative threats, to respect the will of the international community and to honor its international commitments and obligations,” chief White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

North Korea reportedly vowed Tuesday to restart its nuclear reactor and boycott international disarmament talks after the U.N. Security Council on Monday condemned the country’s April 5 rocket launch. North Korean officials have said the rocket was carrying a satellite, but the United States and others think it was a test for a rocket with a nuclear warhead.

“We’re quite please with what came out of the United Nations,” Mr. Gibbs said of the U.N. statement signed by 15 countries.

Fending off criticism from a reporter that the agreement was not strong enough, Mr. Gibbs said progress takes time.

North Korea has tested a nuclear bomb, but under the so-called “six-party deal” several years ago, the country agreed to dismantle its nuclear program in return for oil shipments from other countries.

“This is just asking North Korea to live up to the obligations it entered into in September 2005,” Mr. Gibbs said.

He also said the White House hopes China — North Korea’s closest ally — will continue to play “a very constructive role” in negotiations.

Also Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea is blocking access the group’s inspectors and surveillance equipment at its plutonium-producing reactor at Yongbyon and that the country said it will reactivate all nuclear facilities

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