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N. Korea's Kim dashes early hope but US still seeks change: Clinton

Published on Jan 30, 2013 6:03 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - North Korea's missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed United States (US) expectations that young leader Kim Jong Un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.

"With a new young leader we all expected something different," Mrs Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. "We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.

"Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior," she said of Mr Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated North-east Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong Il, died in December 2011.

Last week, the North declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear program and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests with its "sworn enemy" the US as the target.

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