US says strike on Syria would help deter North Korea from using chemical weapons
BEIJING (REUTERS) - A strong response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack would help deter North Korea from using its "massive chemical weapons arsenal", a senior US defense official said in Beijing, as Washington presses its case for a military strike on Syria.
The United States and France say forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were behind the attack last month in which more than 1,400 people are estimated to have been killed, and that they are considering air strikes to try to deter him from using such weapons again.
US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller said he felt compelled to stress that norms against the use of chemical weapons be upheld in scheduled talks with China's Defence Ministry on Monday.
"I emphasised the massive chemical weapons arsenal that North Korea has and that we didn't want to live in a world in which North Korea felt the threshold for chemical weapons use had been lowered," Mr Miller told reporters on Tuesday.