U.N. Security Council Holds Talks After North Korean Missile Launch

By Farnaz Fassihi Features Dow Jones Newswires

United Nations -- The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday held a closed-door, emergency meeting on North Korea, holding talks on new sanctions in response to the country's latest ballistic missile test.

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The U.S. and China were negotiating a resolution that would implement new sanctions and tighten existing penalties on Pyongyang, diplomats said. China is North Korea's main ally at the U.N. and has in the past advocated for direct negotiations rather than economic and military punishment.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the international community had to send North Korea a "no more" signal and said the U.S. would be willing to talk to North Korea only if the country abandoned its nuclear and missile program.

"This is not play time. This is serious. These threats are not welcome," said Ms. Haley, speaking to reporters before the Council meeting.

Ms. Haley also said that the U.S. would be identifying countries that still supplied and supported North Korea and could target them for sanctions.

North Korea launched its seventh ballistic missile of the year on Sunday and the latest appeared to be its longest-range missile launch yet. The missile, which Pyongyang said had the capability of carrying a heavy nuclear warhead, landed in the Sea of Japan.

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The test came as international powers engaged in a carrot and stick strategy with North Korea. In the past few weeks, Washington had warned that another provocation could draw an unspecified U.S. reaction.

At the same time, President Donald Trump has said he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances. South Korea's new president also announced a new policy shift that favored dialogue with North Korea and said he would work to ease military tensions.

South Korean Ambassador to the U.N. Cho Tae-Yul said his country's response "remains as firm as ever" and that dialogue would only be possible if North Korea changed course.

The Council moved quickly to issue a statement on Monday, displaying rare unity on a thorny international problem. The statement condemned the missile launch and said the Council would monitor the situation and impose significant new sanctions.

Diplomats said that an oil embargo, expanded trade bans and sanctioning more individuals and companies would be among the measures that the Council considered.

"We cannot be in a "wait and see" mode until the next provocation occurs, " said France's Ambassador François Delattre.

Write to Farnaz Fassihi at farnaz.fassihi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 16, 2017 20:17 ET (00:17 GMT)