‘Time for talk is over’, US warns North Korea

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley says China must decide on further action against North Korea over its missile programmes.

The United States is “done talking about North Korea” and China must decide if it is willing to back imposing stronger United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its two long-range missile tests this month, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday.

Haley said in a statement that any new UN Security Council resolution “that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value”.

The US flew two supersonic B-1B bombers as a show of force after Pyongyang fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday.

“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step. The time for talk is over,” she said.

The Chinese mission to the UN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US has been in talks with China, North Korea’s ally, on a draft UN Security Council resolution to impose stronger sanctions on North Korea. Haley gave China a draft text after North Korea’s July 4 ICBM test.

Haley said last Tuesday that the US had been making progress with China.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he spoke with US President Donald Trump by phone and that they agreed on the need to take further action on North Korea.

Abe told reporters that he praised Trump’s commitment on North Korea and that he would make the utmost efforts to protect the Japanese public.

Missile programme

Some diplomats had expected the US, Japan and South Korea to ask for the 15-member UN Security Council to meet on Monday over the test. Haley said that the US saw “no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence”.

Such a meeting would have set the stage for a likely showdown between the US and Russia over whether Friday’s launch was a long-range rocket test. It was unclear if any other Security Council members, such as Japan, planned to request a meeting.

Diplomats say China and Russia only view a long-range missile test or nuclear weapon test as a trigger for further possible UN Security Council sanctions.

The Pentagon and South Korean military believe Friday’s test was an ICBM. However, a Russian Defence Ministry official said Moscow’s data indicated it was only a medium-range missile.

The US and Russia have waged rival campaigns at the Security Council over the type of ballistic missile fired by North Korea on July 4. Western powers said it was an ICBM, while Russia said it was medium-range.

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes and the Security Council has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear weapons tests and two long-range missile launches.

Haley has said some options to strengthen UN sanctions were to restrict the flow of oil to North Korea’s military and weapons programmes, increasing air and maritime restrictions and imposing sanctions on senior officials.

Source: Reuters