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Pyongyang vows to continue missile test launches
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- Buoyed by a U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea, the Bush administration said Sunday that the reclusive communist nation will have no choice but to ultimately return to nuclear disarmament talks.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that additional pressure could be brought against North Korea by world powers.
The White House shrugged off North Korea's rejection of the Security Council's decision.
"It's probably not surprising that they have immediately rejected it," said Dan Bartlett, U.S. President George W. Bush's senior counselor.
"But sometimes the first response is not the only response or the final response. But what it says is that the world is speaking with one voice."
The Security Council demanded Saturday that North Korea suspend its ballistic missile program. The resolution bans all U.N. member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea, and from receiving missiles, banned weapons or technology from Pyongyang.
North Korea warned that the resolution was a prelude to a renewed Korean war.
The North also said it would "bolster its war deterrent for self-defense," a typical phrase often used to refer to the country's nuclear weapons program.
"Our republic vehemently denounces and roundly refutes the 'resolution,' a product of the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, and will not be bound to it in the least," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. DPRK is the abbreviation for the North's official name.
Rice, here with Bush for a summit of world leaders, warned that North Korea could face additional action.
"If they do not want to face some of the additional pressures that can be brought to bear on them, then I think that they will eventually realize that they've got to come back to the six-party talks," she said. "That's really the only game in town."
The six-party talks involve China, North and South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States. The talks have been stalled since last September. North Korea has not agreed to return.
Rice praised the Security Council resolution and expressed particular pleasure that China voted for it. China is believed to have more influence on North Korea than any other country and has been reluctant to impose sanctions on North Korea.
She said the six party talks are "really paying off. Because we really now have a coalition."
"I think ultimately North Korea will have no choice but to return to the talks and pursue denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Rice told reporters.