AFP | China on Tuesday took a swipe at the United States, saying there was "no reason" to refuse dialogue with North Korea despite a string of missile tests strongly condemned by the UN Security Council.
Liu Jieyi says said all progress with North Korea on eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula has come through dialogue, "so there's no reason why dialogue is not taking place in the current situation".
He told reporters on Monday that France hopes the council will move ahead on a strong resolution that demands better implementation of existing sanctions and tougher new sanctions against North Korea.
"The council is firmly united in rejecting the continuation of the launching of rockets by North Korea", said council president Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay.
"We don't see why dialogue can not take place in the current situation now", Liu insisted.
Liu spoke to reporters after emergency Security Council consultations behind closed doors on the North's latest missile test.
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".
Sunday's missile launch was Pyongyang's second in as many weeks and its 10th this year.
North Korea on Sunday launched the Pukguksong-2, which traveled about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan.
Asked about imposing new sanctions, the Chinese ambassador responded that "this was a hypothetical question" and added that the current sanctions must be applied "in a comprehensive way".
The Security Council late Monday strongly condemned North Korea's "flagrant and provocative defiance" of United Nations sanctions banning ballistic missile tests and again vowed "to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions".
North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of a year ago in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.
Calling the provocations "an enormous global threat", he said "the worldwide community must not leave this total defiance of the Security Council unanswered".
Under UN resolutions North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and ballistic missile technology.
The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions previous year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.
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".
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