At UN, US pushes Korea sanctions
The United States is making progress in talks with North Korean ally China on imposing new United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang over its latest missile test.
The United States gave China a draft resolution nearly three weeks ago to impose stronger sanctions on North Korea over their July 4 missile launch.
“We’re constantly in touch with China … Things are moving but it’s still too early to tell how far they’ll move,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
“We know that China’s been sharing and negotiating with Russia, so as long as they are doing that, we’re going to continue to watch this closely to make sure it is a strong resolution.”
China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi told reporters: “We are making progress, it requires time, but we’re working very hard.”
Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated sanctions on North Korea before formally involving other council members, though diplomats said Washington informally keeps Britain and France in the loop.
Along with Russia, those five countries are veto-wielding Security Council members.
“The true test will be what (the Chinese) have worked out with Russia (and whether) Russia comes and tries to pull out of that,” Haley added.
The United States and Russia have waged rival campaigns at the Security Council over the type of ballistic missile fired by North Korea.
Western powers have said it was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while Russia said the missile fired was only medium-range.
Diplomats say China and Russia only view a long-range missile test or nuclear weapon test as a trigger for further possible UN sanctions.
“Everyone that we have dealt with acknowledges that it’s an ICBM. Whether they are willing to put it in writing or not is going to be the real question,” Haley said.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes and the Security Council has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear weapons tests and two long-range missile launches.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been frustrated that China has not done more to rein in North Korea and senior officials have said Washington could impose new sanctions on Chinese firms doing business with Pyongyang.