Rice: US committed to six-party talks
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington was committed to six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear arms program, but repeated that the United States reserved the right to take its case to the UN Security Council.
"At this point we are committed to a course that we have described, and that is through the six-party talks to convince the North Koreans that there is really only one route to the kind of international respect that they seem to want, and that is the course that we are on," Rice said.
The New York Times reported that Washington might seek a UN resolution empowering all nations to intercept shipments in or out of North Korea that may contain nuclear materials.
"Obviously, we reserve the right to go to the United Nations Security Council at any time concerning the North Koreans," she said when asked about the report.
She spoke to reporters on a plane on her way to Brazil. The plane stopped in the Dutch Antilles island of Curacao for a stopover before heading to Brazil.
"Depending on the nature of the threat, depending on the nature of the consultations, we will go to the Security Council if necessary," Rice said. "But at this point we still believe that there is a lot to be done in the six-party framework."
Rice had said last week Washington reserved the right to take the matter to the UN Security Council.
The six-party talks, which stalled last year, involve North Korea, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
Rice also touted the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which allows for the seizure of missiles and other potential components of weapons of mass destruction while they are being transferred at sea or in the air.
"It is a very effective tool to deal with the problems of proliferation that might resort from any place of the world," she said.
Last year, 19 countries took part in a three-day PSI exercise, seen mostly as a signal to nearby North Korea, in the waters south of Tokyo.
Brazil is Rice's first stop in a Latin American tour that will also take her to Colombia, Chile and El Salvador.