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North Korea "begging for war": US envoy

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North Korea’s leader is “begging for war,” the US ambassador said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, as members called for punishing the country with even stronger sanctions for its powerful nuclear test.

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Ambassador Nikki Haley said the US would look at countries doing business with the North – which include China – and planned to circulate a resolution this week with the goal of getting it approved by September 11.

“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said.

“The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country, that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions,” she said.

The move came as South Korea said it was seeing preparations in the North for an ICBM test and fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North’s main nuclear test site.

Also on Monday, President Donald Trump spoke by phone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and agreed that Sunday’s underground nuclear test by North Korea was an unprecedented provocation. The two leaders also agreed to remove the limit on the payload of South Korean missiles.

The emergency UN session was scheduled after North Korea said it detonated the hydrogen bomb and came six days after the council strongly condemned what it called Pyongyang’s “outrageous” launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. Less than a month ago, the council imposed its stiffest sanctions yet on the reclusive nation.

Still, the US resolution faces an uncertain future. Russia and China have both proposed a two-pronged approach: North Korea would suspend its nuclear and missile development, and the United States and South Korea would suspend their joint military exercises.

Washington and Seoul say the manoeuvers are defensive, but Pyongyang views them as a rehearsal for invasion. The North recently requested a Security Council meeting about the war games.

The US says there is no comparison between its openly conducted, internationally monitored military drills and North Korea’s weapons programs, which the international community has banned.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters after the meeting that sanctions alone will not solve the issue and that negotiations are needed as well.

“Resolutions aimed solely at sanctioning North Korea have not worked well before,” Nebenzia said.

Diplomats from France, Britain, Italy and other countries reiterated demands for the Kim regime to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs and urged further sanctions.

The North trumpeted that its sixth nuclear test blast since 2006 was a “perfect success.”

– AP

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