U.S. admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster'

After the missile launch on Sunday, the United States, Japan and South Korea called a UN Security Council meeting to press North Korea to change course and dismantle its missile and nuclear programmes.

President Moon Jae-in took office last week with pledges to seek a dual-track approach to push for North Korea's denuclearization and dialogue with it.

North Korea has been under unrelenting pressure to rein in its nuclear programme, with the USA 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.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has justified its latest long, medium-range ballistic missile test-firing as "routine work to raise nuclear capability for self-defense", rejecting a UN Security Council statement of condemnation.

A unification ministry spokesman in Seoul said Wednesday that the lines haven't technically been cut, but North Korean officials have not responded to near daily calls from their counterparts in the South.

Haley said the global community wants to be able to support North Korea, but as long as it continues trying to grow its nuclear programme with missile tests, North Korea would remain an "island".

No draft resolution was circulated to the full council, but Haley said the United States was working with China on a text.

It has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the US mainland, and experts say Sunday's test was another step toward that aim.

Trump warned this month that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, and in a show of force, sent the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group to Korean waters to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

China has strongly opposed THAAD.

Yoon said Chung and Pottinger in their meeting reaffirmed that Seoul and Washington share a common goal in the "complete discarding" of North Korean nuclear weapons and will pursue "all methods, including sanctions and dialogue" to reach the goal.

A ballistic missile tested by Iran last summer is believed to be based on the design of the North Korean Musudan missile.

Haley answered Putin and others who have made similar comments about the United States: "What about North Korea intimidating us?"

Under the watch of Kim Jong-un, North Korea has been aggressively pursuing a decades-long goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea's presidential envoy that Washington was willing to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through engagement, but under the right conditions.

Another development that may complicate Moon's plans for renewed dialogue with North Korea is the massive cybercrime attack against computer systems across the world this weekend.

Nikki Haley spoke ahead of a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by the US and council member Japan, along with South Korea, to discuss Pyongyang's latest illicit ballistic missile launch.

Washington, she said, would consider talks with Pyongyang only if the country halted all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) is launched during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

  • Leroy Wright