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US working to get China to back N. Korea sanctions

Published on Dec 14, 2012 6:10 AM
The Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket carrying the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, is launched at West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province on Dec 12, 2012 in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang early Dec 14, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) on Thursday said it was working hard with China to persuade it to back a strong response to North Korea, and denied it had been caught off guard by the rocket launch.

"We are working with both our six party partners and with our UN Security Council partners - China is in both of those categories - on a clear and credible response to what the North Koreans have done," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said.

Washington has roundly condemned Wednesday's launch, and called on the new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to focus on feeding the people of his isolated, impoverished state instead of developing missile technology.

But Washington has warned that Pyongyang must face consequences for violating UN resolutions by firing off its long-range rocket.

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