North Korea poses threat to China, Russia: US admiral

Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

The latest launch appeared to fulfill both criteria, Haley said, "so I believe that China will stay true to that and that we'll come together on how we're going to do that".

The Korean parliamentarian also reiterated that the deployment of THAAD battery to South Korea required proper parliamentary approval for reasons of national security. South Korea was unable to verify the claims.

"The unsafe behaviour by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean's a threat to China, it's a threat to Russia", Adm Harris told a an academic forum in Tokyo.

"This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested", Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the United States told AFP.

North Korea has defied all calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, even from China, its lone major ally, calling them legitimate self-defense.

North Korea says Sunday's launch tested the capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead" and its ambassador in Beijing said on Monday that Pyongyang would continue such test launches "any time, any place".

In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council on Monday strongly condemned the missile test and agreed to take further significant measures, including sanctions.

"We will never tolerate such North Korean provocations and nuclear threats", he stated during a visit to the Defense Ministry in Seoul Wednesday, as cited by Yonhap news agency. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test. But China and Russian Federation has opposed the installation of the missile defence system.

Any country that did not look at putting new sanctions on North Korea was, in effect, helping the isolated nation, she said.

Among the possible measures could be an oil embargo, trade bans and targeted sanctions on North Korean individuals and companies, but these hinge on China's willingness to apply such measures.

The United States is in talks with China - Pyongyang's main trading partner - on a possible new sanctions resolution and the Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door emergency meeting starting around 2000 GMT Tuesday.

The missile launched Saturday reportedly covered a distance of 700km before descending into the Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea), according to South Korean and Japanese militaries' data.

North Korea has been under unrelenting pressure to rein in its nuclear programme, with the U.S. threatening to step up military force, the United Nations raising the possibility of tougher sanctions and even the country's sole ally China expressing growing frustration.

Besides worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs, cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link the North with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.

  • Leroy Wright