Monday, 19 February, 2018

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

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Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 17:15

"When we requested to restore the agreed language that was of political importance and expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft. the USA delegation without providing any explanations cancelled the work on the draft", the Russian U.N. mission said in a statement on Wednesday. "But re-engage with us on a different footing than past talks have been held".

Speaking on the deck of a massive U.S. aircraft carrier on Wednesday, Pence cautioned North Korea against testing the resolve of the USA military. The 15-member council has strengthened sanctions following each of North Korea's five nuclear tests.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing US officials.

US Vice President Mike Pence (C) salutes American sailors as he walks up to his aircraft to depart Japan from the US naval air facility in Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture on April 19, 2017.

While Trump gave no indication of what the moves might be, USA officials told Reuters that the United States was aware of a higher-than-usual level of activity by Chinese bombers, signalling a possible heightened state of readiness.

The latest bellicose statement follows North Korea's weekend display of military hardware in a parade marking the birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung and two attempted missile tests, one of which failed. The US has been unnerved by North Korea's advancing missile and nuclear programs and has dispatched a military strike group to the Korean Peninsula. "I don't know", he told reporters.

Tensions have increasingly increased between North Korea and the U.S. in recent weeks. Pyongyang has said it is ready for war.

The launch ended in failure as the missile blew up right after takeoff.

The daily points out that US threats are meant to keep North Korea from improving its nuclear capabilities.

Pyongyang believes its missile and nuclear programs act as deterrence against a potential invasion by its adversaries, particularly the US.

South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, at a meeting with top officials on Thursday, repeatedly called for the military and security ministries to maintain vigilance.