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