A top State Department official cautioned North Korea to avoid "any type of provocative activity" and advised the communist-led state to return to negotiations about its nuclear weapons program.
Referring Monday to reports that North Korea might be preparing to launch a long-range ballistic missile, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said "that would be a profoundly unwise step by the North Koreans."
"They have heard from just about everybody in the international community, including China, including Russia, that that would be not only extremely unwise, it would be opposed by all the countries in the world," Burns said in an interview with C-Span scheduled for airing on Sunday.
"It would be profoundly unwise of them," Burns said, describing North Korea as a country governed by "an unpredictable regime."
"Our advice to the North Korea is to come back to the six-party talks," Burns said. Those are negotiations that King Jong Il's government suspended with the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia. "And our strong advice obviously is for the North Koreans not to engage in any type of provocative activity surrounding these talks."