China Agrees More U.N. Actions Needed Against North Korea After Nuclear Test
China Agrees More U.N. Actions Needed Against North Korea After Nuclear Test

BEIJING/VLADIVOSTOK, Russia—China said on Thursday it agreed the United Nations should take more action against North Korea after its latest nuclear test, while pushing for more dialogue to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea said it would respond to any U.N. sanctions and U.S. pressure with “powerful counter measures”.

The United States wants the U.N. Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers abroad, and to subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrives for a meeting by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Aug. 29, 2017  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrives for a meeting by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Aug. 29, 2017 (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

 

Pressure from Washington has ratcheted up since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sunday. That test, along with a series of missile launches, showed it was close to achieving its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

“We will respond to the barbaric plotting around sanctions and pressure by the United States with powerful counter measures of our own,” North Korea said in a statement by its delegation to an economic forum in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East.

This picture from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows North Korea's intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency shows North Korea’s intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea.
A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged China to do more to rein in its neighbor, which has pursued its weapons programs in defiance of U.N. sanctions and international condemnation.

“Given the new developments on the Korean peninsula, China agrees that the U.N. Security Council should make a further response and take necessary measures,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on Thursday, without elaborating.

“Any new actions taken by the international community against the DPRK should serve the purpose of curbing the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs,” he said, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

China is by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 92 percent of two-way trade last year. It also provides hundreds of thousands of tonnes of oil and fuel to the impoverished regime.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke at the regional meeting in Vladivostok and agreed to try to persuade China and Russia to cut off oil to North Korea as much as possible, according to South Korean officials.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on that he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decisively condemned North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan.

Putin reiterated that the crisis around North Korea should be resolved only by political means, and that it posed a threat to peace and stability in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in attend a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in attend a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he had an executive order ready for Trump to sign that would impose sanctions on any country that trades with North Korea, if the United Nations does not put impose new sanctions on it.

Amid the rising tension, South Korea installed the four remaining launchers of a U.S. anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on a former golf course south of its capital, Seoul, early on Thursday. Two launchers had already been deployed.

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are seen as they arrive at Seongju, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Lee Jong-hyeon/News1 via REUTERS)
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are seen as they arrive at Seongju, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Lee Jong-hyeon/News1 via REUTERS)

 

A part of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system travels as it heads for Seongju, near the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Oh Jang-hwan/News1 via REUTERS)
A part of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system travels as it heads for Seongju, near the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Oh Jang-hwan/News1 via REUTERS)

 

A part of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system travels as it heads for Seongju, near the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Oh Jang-hwan/News1 via REUTERS)
A part of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system travels as it heads for Seongju, near the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Sept. 7, 2017. (Oh Jang-hwan/News1 via REUTERS)

 

South Korean Marines wrapped up a three-day firing drill aimed at protecting its islands just south of the border with North Korea, while the air force will finish up a week-long drill on Friday. 

A South Korean marine takes part in a military exercise on South Korea's Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, in this handout picture provided by South Korean Marine Corps and released by Yonhap on Sept. 7, 2017. (South Korean Marine Corps/Yonhap via REUTERS)
A South Korean marine takes part in a military exercise on South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, in this handout picture provided by South Korean Marine Corps and released by Yonhap on Sept. 7, 2017. (South Korean Marine Corps/Yonhap via REUTERS)

 

South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea's Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, Sept. 7, 2017. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via REUTERS)
South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, Sept. 7, 2017. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via REUTERS)

 

South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea's Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, in this handout picture provided by South Korean Marine Corps and released by Yonhap on Sept. 7, 2017. (South Korean Marine Corps/Yonhap via REUTERS)
South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north, in this handout picture provided by South Korean Marine Corps and released by Yonhap on Sept. 7, 2017. (South Korean Marine Corps/Yonhap via REUTERS)

 

South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea's Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north on Sept. 7, 2017. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via REUTERS)
South Korean marines take part in a military exercise on South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed sea border with the north on Sept. 7, 2017. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via REUTERS)

 

For a graphic on nuclear North Korea, click here.

By Christian Shepherd and Katya Golubkova

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