China calls for new talks with North Korea on nukes

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2017

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday at which Japan will lobby the USA and South Korea to tighten sanctions.

Local media said the object might have been a North Korean drone.

He said Japan is talking to the U.S., South Korea, and close neighbors Russian Federation and China to make sure pressure on the North is continued "and even strengthened so that North Korea will change its policy".

Council members vowed to "fully and comprehensively" implement the six rounds of sanctions the U.N.'s most powerful body has already imposed against North Korea and strongly urged all other U.N. member nations "to do so in an expeditious and serious manner".

But North Korea's historic ally and main trade partner China said the priority was to push for diplomatic talks.

The missile is based on is predecessor, the KN-11, a submarine-launched ballistic missile the North tested successfully last August.

Pyongyang said it launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile which met all technical requirements and could now be mass-produced, although US officials questioned the extent of its progress.

South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, held a National Security Council meeting to discuss Sunday's launch, which came hours after he named his new foreign minister nominee and top advisers for security and foreign policy.

The United States, which has condemned repeated North Korean missile launches, said Sunday's launch of what North Korea dubbed the Pukguksong-2 was of a "medium-range" missile, and US-based experts doubted the reliability of the relatively new solid-fuel type after so few tests. A U.S. State Department spokesman has said North Korea would have to "cease all its illegal activities and aggressive behavior in the region". First tested in February, the KN-15 can be launched with little warning and is less vulnerable to preemptive strikes.

It said the test would have provided more "meaningful data" for North Korea's missile programme, but further analysis was necessary to determine whether Pyongyang had mastered the technology needed to stop the warhead burning upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. The closed discussion will take place Tuesday.

South Korean forces fired warning shots at the unidentified objects Tuesday after they were spotted flying from North Korea across the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two countries.

When Pyongyang fired a medium-range missile May 14, Tokyo detected the projectile when it was secured on the launch pad.

Speaking at a UN Conference on Disarmament Tuesday, North Korea's diplomat Ju Yong Chol defended their missile tests as legitimate acts of self defense.

So far, almost all the North's missiles have been liquid-fuelled, which have to be time-consumingly filled with propellant before launch. Talmadge is the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief.

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