UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

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The report, carried by Reuters, also warned the USA and its allies "should not mess with us".

A North Korean missile blew up nearly immediately on its test launch on Sunday, the US military said.

Russian Federation on Wednesday blocked UN Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest missile test even though China had backed the strongly-worded statement put forward by the United States, diplomats said.

It expresses the Security Council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation" and welcomes efforts by council members and other countries "to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue".

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The United States, which holds the rotating council presidency this month, has scheduled a ministerial-level meeting on North Korea next week, to be chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

William Perry, who served as US defence secretary from 1994 to 1997 and negotiated with North Korea, said he did not believe Pyongyang was planning a surprise attack, despite the fiery rhetoric. "They shouldn't try to play it at this point".

The U.S. and South Korea are now engaged in joint Air Force exercises, which North Korea believes to be invasion prep.

The council expressed its strong determination to deal more proactively with North Korea's provocations by stating that their further signification measures include sanctions, the ministry said in a press release on Friday (Korean time).

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"We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

The Bush administration had removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2008 after North Korea agreed to continue disabling a plutonium plant and permit access for inspections to verify that it froze its nuclear program.

Guterres said countries "on the frontline" of the crisis - China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Russia - must spare no effort to prevent a military buildup from Pyongyang.

Tensions have risen after U.S. President Donald Trump took a hard rhetorical line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programs seen by Washington as a direct threat.

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