China urged to act as N Korea fires a mis­sile over Ja­pan

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Amid con­cerns that sanc­tions against North Korea have not been fully im­ple­mented, he added: “China and Rus­sia must in­di­cate their in­tol­er­ance for these reck­less mis­sile launches by tak­ing di­rect ac­tions of their own.”

US dis­ar­ma­ment am­bas­sador Robert Wood said war re­mained an op­tion. Asked in Geneva if war or a US mil­i­tary strike was pos­si­ble, Mr Wood said: “We are not tak­ing any op­tions off the ta­ble but we are pur­su­ing the diplo­matic track right now.

“That’s where we are. We want to ex­haust all diplo­matic op­tions.”

North Korea claims it could carry out a nu­clear strike on the US main­land. Pres­i­dent Trump has vowed to re­spond to any threat to the US or its al­lies with “fire and fury”.

In a sign of hard­en­ing at­ti­tudes, a Gallup An­a­lyt­ics poll found that 58 per cent of Amer­i­cans favour mil­i­tary ac­tion if eco­nomic and diplo­matic ef­forts fail.

The cri­sis es­ca­lated ear­lier this month when North Korea car­ried out its sixth and big­gest nu­clear test, ex­plod­ing a bomb in an un­der­ground bunker near the bor­der with China.

Ear­lier this week the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously im­posed tough new sanc­tions on North Korea. But the pariah state re­sponded by pledg­ing to “sink” Ja­pan and re­duce the US to “ashes”.

Kim Jong-un boasted yes­ter­day that the lat­est mis­sile launch was “a shin­ing vic­tory” for the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK) “in the stand-off with the US”.

He said: “Now no one can dis­re­gard the im­mense na­tional strength and po­ten­tial of the DPRK and deny its strate­gic po­si­tion as a re­spon­si­ble nu­clear weapons state with great clout.”

Western sci­en­tists said the mis­sile test marked a new es­ca­la­tion. “The range of this test was sig­nif­i­cant since North Korea demon­strated that it could reach Guam,” the Union Con­cerned Sci­en­tists group said.

In Lon­don, For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son called on the world to en­force sanc­tions against North Korea.

He said: “This week the most strin­gent UN sanc­tions regime placed on any na­tion in the 21st cen­tury was im­posed on North Korea, af­ter be­ing unan­i­mously agreed at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

“These mea­sures now need to be of ro­bustly en­forced. We urge all states to play their part in chang­ing the course North Korea is tak­ing.

“The UK and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have con­demned the ag­gres­sive and il­le­gal ac­tions of the North Korean regime, and the suc­ces­sion of mis­sile and nu­clear tests.

“We stand firmly by Ja­pan and our other in­ter­na­tional part­ners.”

South Korea tests its de­fences yes­ter­day af­ter North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, in­set, hailed his coun­try’s lat­est mis­sile launch. Be­low, US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son

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