WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday voiced hope that North Korea would heed international calls to call off a missile launch after even Pyongyang’s main ally China expressed concern.
The State Department highlighted the unity in position among the five nations that were involved in moribund denuclearization talks with North Korea — China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
“We were heartened that every single one of the six-party talks participants made clear that they think this would be an extremely bad idea and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
“We are hoping and expecting that the DPRK will take that to heart,” Nuland said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The United States has warned that North Korea is putting at risk a deal it reached little more than two weeks earlier under which Washington would provide food assistance to the impoverished communist state.
North Korea has described its plans as a satellite launch and set a date of between April 12-16, part of national celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the regime’s founder Kim Il-Sung.
North Korea has long been a thorn in relations between the United States and China, with many US experts believing that Beijing’s support has allowed Pyongyang to resist change.
Under the February 29 deal with the United States, North Korea agreed to halt nuclear and missile tests and uranium enrichment and to let in inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Asked if the United States would support a return of the inspectors despite plans for the missile launch, Nuland said that it would depend on how much access North Korea gives to the monitors.
“We don’t want them to waste their time, but we’re not opposed for opposition’s sake,” Nuland said.
‘Clear and present racism’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika say Kellyanne Conway should have been ‘fired on the spot’ for slurring reporter
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.
The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.
"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."
Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface
Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.
Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to "house cats."
Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.
Two Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised as national Democratic offensive kicks off in Texas
Two potentially vulnerable Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised — and a few others saw seriously funded challengers — as the first major fundraising deadline passed in a cycle where national Democrats have built an expansive battlefield here, targeting six seats.
In the second quarter, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, fell short of Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, $378,000 to $421,000. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, raised less than Democratic opponent Kim Olson, $225,000 to $279,000, before making a large loan to his campaign. And a few other GOP incumbents posted strong numbers — but so did Democrats running to unseat them, in a couple cases outpacing the officeholders after they entered the race mid-fundraising cycle.