Fox News correspondent James Rosen laughed Tuesday after State Department spokesman John Kirby dodged his question on whether the department believes China is doing all it can to ‘rein in’ North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Rosen asked Kirby if it is the State Department’s view that China is doing all it can to curtail Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Kirby instead answered how the department views China’s compliance with recently implemented United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program.
“Chinese officials have made clear that they intend to implement the resolution, and we’re engaged with an ongoing dialogue with them to that end as well as our allies and our partners on how to best curtail the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s] pursuit of nuclear ballistic missile and proliferation programs,” Kirby said, using North Korea’s official name.
“I didn’t ask if it is the view of the department that China is doing everything it can to comply with the resolution,” Rosen said. “I asked if it is the view of this department that China is doing all it can do.”
“No, I understand the question,” Kirby replied. “I’ll leave my answer as it is.”
Kirby’s response drew a loud laugh from Rosen, who then rephrased his question to ask if China is doing nothing to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
“We would not agree with that assessment,” Kirby responded.
China and North Korea, which share a border, are treaty allies both ruled by communist governments. Though bilateral relations have been strained in recent years as Pyongyang has defied the international community to continue developing nuclear weapons, Beijing still provides the rogue state with certain supplies and support.