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UN Security Council weighs new sanctions on North Korea

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Manuel Armenta | 17 May, 2017, 17:49

The United States would consider talks with North Korea if it halts all nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Washington's envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday as the UN Security Council weighed new sanctions on Pyongyang.

"We all have to send a sign to North Korea, and that is 'no more".

Echoing her earlier comments, calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "paranoid", Haley said that Pyongyang had no reason to be hostile, as the United States was not trying to assassinate him or organize regime change.

Though North Korea has never admitted any involvement in the Sony Pictures hack, security researchers and the United States government are confident in the theory and neither can rule out the possibility of a false flag. Haley said, adding that Russian Federation had it "all wrong". "We have not seen anything from them in the past week but we are encouraging them to continue moving forward".

That suggests a range of 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) or more if flown for maximum distance, analysts said.

"This is serious. These threats are not welcome, '" Haley told reporters ahead of the council meeting. "It's not unique in North Korea, but it's also not a very common method".

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council said it was vital that North Korea show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions". And so far, Beijing has amped up talk of imposing new sanctions or other restrictions.

North Korea's foreign ministry rejected the statement, saying it infringed on its right to self-defense, particularly as the missile was sacked at a sharp angle to ensure the safety of neighboring countries.

The latest launch appeared to fulfil 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 U.S. will ramp up pressure on the North in every possible way, Haley said. "There is no reason for North Korea to be having these actions outside of the fact they just choose to do so".

Sunday's rocket, which Pyongyang dubbed the Hwasong-12, could prove to be a more reliable alternative to the Musudan and marks a significant milestone as in its development of an ICBM that could ultimately be tipped with a nuclear warhead, experts said.

Another carrier, the Ronald Reagan, left Yokosuka in Japan on Tuesday on its regular spring patrol, which would last three to four months, a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.

North Korea on Sunday (May 14) launched 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 United States mainland within reach.