Russia vetoes UN statement on North Korea's missile tests

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UNITED NATIONS The United Nations Security Council on Thursday condemned North Korea's latest missile test and demanded Pyongyang not conduct any more nuclear tests in a statement that was delayed as the United States and Russian Federation sparred over its language.

"The members of the Security Council demanded that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall immediately cease further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions", the statement said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a United Nations Security Council meeting on North Korea on April 28 to discuss how the body can combat Pyongyang's banned nuclear and missile programs. "I don't know", he told reporters.

Council diplomats, speaking anonymously because discussions were private, said the US, which is in charge of drafting council statements and resolutions on North Korea, had dropped the call for "dialogue" as part of its effort to toughen the text.

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The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing US officials.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley separately stressed that the onus was on North Korea to prevent an escalation.

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in a previous resolution stressing the need to achieve a solution through dialogue, council diplomats said. "They shouldn't try and play it", she said.

They also emphasized "the vital importance" of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization".

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Moscow had blocked an earlier version of the statement - which comes after North Korea carried out a failed test on Sunday - even though China, Pyongyang's ally, had expressed its support for it.

Haley the UN Security Council's current president.

North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions aimed at impeding the development of its nuclear and missile programs since 2006.

The paper, obtained by The Associated Press, says the North's latest actions "make clear that further worldwide pressure is required for the DPRK to change its behavior if there is to be any hope for meaningful denuclearization talks to resume". Council members can also "recommit to implementing all existing and future sanctions to maximize pressure on the DPRK to return to meaningful negotiations on denuclearization", the paper says.

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