United States will tighten screws on North Korea, says Haley

United States will tighten screws on North Korea, says Haley

All 15 members of the Security Council including North Korea's closest ally China called the launch a violation of United Nations sanctions and vowed to take new measures, including additional sanctions.

In what both governments hoped was a major step forward, the two countries had agreed in 2015 to a deal created to end a row over Korean "comfort women" forced into sex slavery for Japanese soldiers during the World War II. China also is South Korea's most important trading partner, taking the lion's share of its exports and providing the largest share of its imports. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week he is against expanding the "club of nuclear powers" but added that "we must stop intimidating North Korea".

He also said the North's nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly recently but that the South was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.

"The Unification Ministry has considered options on this internally but nothing has been decided yet", said Lee.

US President Donald Trump's administration has called for an immediate halt to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, and US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said on Tuesday that China's leverage was key and Beijing could do more.

Moon's envoy to the United States, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, left for Washington on Wednesday.

"Such pressure by use of "sanction resolutions" devoid of legality, morality and impartiality is a blatant infringement on the independence of a sovereign state and act of interference in others' internal affairs", said a senior North Korean diplomat.

Hong also told the news agency that Tillerson said many companies stood ready to invest in North Korea should Pyongyang make the right choices.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the first Indian-American to hold a cabinet rank, pledged that the US plans to "tighten the screws" on North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The remarks, made in a meeting with South Korea's special presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun, is the latest in a series of signs that the USA may be moving toward dialogue and engagement with Pyongyang after months of exchanging saber-rattling and harsh rhetoric.

"The risky behavior by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean peninsula... it's a threat to China, it's a threat to Russia", Harris told a an academic forum in Tokyo. The news comes as tensions have spiked on the Koreanpeninsula over Pyongyang's test launch of a ballistic missile, with Washington saying the country's weapons development should be treated "with a sense of urgency".