U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Asia's biggest security community on Thursday to keep the pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program and enforce U.N. sanctions against the reclusive state.
Reining in North Korea's nuclear program, counter-terrorism cooperation and maritime security took center stage at Asia's premier annual security gathering, the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Myanmar was also in the spotlight after Clinton on Wednesday said Washington was concerned about the possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea to the military junta, Reuters reports.
"North Korea must end its pursuit of nuclear weapons and fulfil its pledges. North Korea's response in turn has been more threatening behaviour," Clinton told the 26-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF).
Last week, in line with resolution 1874, the Security Council slapped sanctions on five individuals and five entities from North Korea known to be involved in Pyongyang's banned nuclear and ballistic missile activities.
Japanese officials at the forum confirmed that Tokyo would freeze all their assets in Japan on Friday.
Clinton was expected to outline a new approach to Pyongyang later Thursday, including a bid to tempt the North into "full and verifiable denuclearisation" with "significant energy and economic assistance."
But according to Seoul's Yonhap news agency a North Korean delegate at the talks attacked Washington's "deep-rooted hostile policy" and vowed no dialogue until it changes, AFP reports.
Bristling at being described by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as behaving like an unruly child, North Korea responded in kind Thursday, calling her vulgar and less then clever.
"She has made a spate of vulgar remarks unbecoming for her position everywhere she went since she was sworn in," North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying, The Washington Post reports.