Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

UN condemns North Korea missile launch after Russia, US spar over words

UN condemns North Korea missile launch after Russia, US spar over words

It also expresses the council's "utmost concern" about North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance" of council resolutions.

"It's important that North Korea know we are not trying to pick a fight, so don't try to give us one", Haley told reporters.

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in a previous statement stressing the need to achieve a solution through dialogue, according to council diplomats.

Moscow had blocked an earlier version of the statement - which comes after North Korea carried out a failed test on Sunday - even though China, Pyongyang's ally, had expressed its support for it.

"The members of the Security Council demanded that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall immediately cease further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions", the statement said.

The comments came a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington is considering restoring the North to its terror sponsor list among other ways to pressure the communist state over its nuclear weapons program.

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its arms programs, including developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States and announcing that a declared priority is to develop a hydrogen bomb. Vice President Mike Pence, on a tour of Asian allies, has said repeatedly an "era of strategic patience" with North Korea is over.

In an escalating war of words with the U.S., North Korea warned Thursday of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" that would reduce American military forces in South Korea and the U.S. mainland "to ashes", according to The Rodong Sinmun, official newspaper of North Korea's Workers' Party.

North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions aimed at impeding the development of its nuclear and missile programs since 2006.

The council has imposed six sets of sanctions on North Korea - two of which were adopted previous year - to significantly ramp up the punitive measures and deny Kim Jong-Un's regime hard currency revenue.

Council diplomats, speaking anonymously because discussions were private, said the US, which is in charge of drafting council statements and resolutions on North Korea, had dropped the call for "dialogue" as part of its effort to toughen the text.

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