Tillerson to chair UN Security Council meeting on North Korea today

Reckless muscle-flexing could lead to frightening consequences over North Korea warns Russia

Reckless muscle-flexing could lead to frightening consequences over North Korea warns Russia

"North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority". "Rapid development of ballistic missiles of all types and ranges now threaten to reach every corner of the world".

"We could take potent measures, such as halting the export and supply of crude oil to North Korea, completely cutting up North Korean hard currency earnings by, for instance suspending all imports of coal from North Korea", Byung-se stated.

"Both sides agree that in the current situation they need to fully abide by United Nations resolutions on North Korea..."

No one was hurt in the tests, but he said the result "could have been catastrophic".

Tillerson scolded the council for not fully enforcing sanctions against North Korea.

Meanwhile, China's foreign minister Wang Yi too warned against military action to respond to the threat from North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

Last September, the USA asked countries around the world to "downgrade or sever" diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea after the communist nation defiantly carried out its fifth nuclear test earlier that month.

Washington has repeatedly called for tougher United Nations sanctions, but wants China to take the diplomatic lead by using its leverage over Pyongyang - which Beijing has been reluctant to do for fear of destabilizing North Korea.

China's proposal for a freeze on North Korea's military programs in exchange for a halt to US-South Korea military drills are "ideas that merit serious attention", Gatilov said.

The United States has rejected the Chinese proposal and insists that North Korea first take steps to show that it is ready to abandon its military programs.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Security Council that China's proposals to re-start talks with North Korea should be seriously examined and that sanctions alone would not work.

She stressed the importance of ensuring all Security Council members steadily implement existing and additional sanctions on the North.

"We are engaging responsible members of the worldwide community to increase pressure on North Korea in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue". "In the face of this belligerence we stand steadfast in our condemnation of such destabilising activity", she said.

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