US calls China and Rus­sia to ac­tion over mis­sile launches

North Korea: Work and oil sanc­tions passed but nations tread care­fully

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - WORLD NEWS -

Washington has called on all nations to take new mea­sures against North Korea af­ter Py­ongyang sent an in­ter­me­di­ate-range weapon hurtling over Ja­pan into the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean.

Sec­re­tary of state Rex Tiller­son said lat­est UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions “rep­re­sent the floor, not the ceil­ing, of the ac­tions we should take”.

He said China and Rus­sia “must in­di­cate their in­tol­er­ance for th­ese reck­less mis­sile launches by tak­ing di­rect ac­tions of their own”.

The res­o­lu­tions pro­hibit any coun­try from au­tho­ris­ing new work per­mits for North Korean work­ers and cap Py­ongyang’s im­ports of crude oil and re­fined pe­tro­leum prod­ucts.

A spokesman for Rus­sia’s pres­i­dent Putin said Moscow “res­o­lutely con­demns” such moves and said the mis­sile test will “lead to the fur­ther growth of ten­sions and the fur­ther es­ca­la­tion of ten­sions on the (Korean) penin­sula”.

Rus­sia backed the res­o­lu­tions passed this week, but the Krem­lin has also been crit­i­cal of calls from the US to ramp up the sanc­tion pres­sure on North Korea.

China’s for­eign min­istry called for all sides to seek di­a­logue to re­duce ten­sions. Spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said the sit­u­a­tion re­mains “com­plex, sen­si­tive and se­vere”.

She urged all par­ties to avoid ac­tions that might in­flame the sit­u­a­tion, while adding that China, North Korea’s chief eco­nomic part­ner and diplo­matic ally, did not hold the key to re­solv­ing the is­sue.

China, one of five per­ma­nent veto-wield­ing mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, agreed to the lat­est sanc­tions.

South Korean pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, a lib­eral who ini­tially pushed for talks with North Korea, said Py­ongyang’s tests cur­rently make di­a­logue “im­possi-

“The sit­u­a­tion is com­plex, sen­si­tive and se­vere”

ble”, adding that sanc­tions would push North Korea to­wards the path of “gen­uine di­a­logue”. He added: “If North Korea pro­vokes us or our al­lies, we have the strength to smash the at­tempt at an early stage and in­flict a level of dam­age it would be im­pos­si­ble to re­cover from.”

Mr Moon spoke on the phone with Ja­panese prime min­is­ter Shinzo Abe about their re­sponse.

A spokesman said the two lead­ers agreed to co-op­er­ate in iden­ti­fy­ing “stern and ef­fec­tive mea­sures”.

THREAT: Yes­ter­day’s test is thought to have been a Hwa­song-12 bal­lis­tic mis­sile, seen here be­ing launched at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion

The South Korean Army on ex­er­cise at the bor­der

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