Countries must decide whether they support North Korea or those opposed to its nuclear and missile programs, U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, vowing to "call out" states backing Pyongyang.
Speaking ahead of an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following North Korea's latest missile test at the weekend, Haley said she believed the United States and others would agree with North Korea's neighbor and ally China on how to respond to the launch.
Haley said the United States was working with China, Pyongyang's main ally, on a new sanctions resolution and warned that all countries must step up action against North Korea or face measures themselves.
"We all have to send a sign to North Korea, and that is 'No more. This is not play time. This is serious. These threats are not welcome,'" Haley told reporters ahead of the council meeting.
Despite the push for a tougher stance, Haley held out the prospect of direct talks with North Korea, saying "we are willing to talk but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any test there."
North Korea launched Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet, saying it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead" in a test aimed at bringing the US mainland within reach.
The United States, Japan and South Korea called the emergency meeting to press international demands that North Korea change course and dismantle its missile and nuclear programs.
No draft resolution has been circulated to the full council, but the United States is in talks with China on a new text that would provide for new sanctions.
"That's what we are working on now. We don't have it done yet," Haley said.
"Absolutely, sanctions (are) something that we are looking at and we are going to continue to see where that takes us."
Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.
In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council on Monday agreed to take further significant measures, including sanctions.
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.
British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said sanctions "are not an end to themselves" but they are "one of the best ways that we have" to press Pyongyang to change its approach.
The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions last year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.
In all, six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006. Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.
North Korea was also under scrutiny by investigators looking for the source of a major cyberattack affecting more than 150 countries, but the European police agency said it was still too early to determine who caused the chaos.
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