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U.S. Wants 'Strongest Possible' UN Sanctions Against North Korea


The U.S. envoy to the United Nations has said the United States plans to circulate a new resolution on North Korea this week and wants a vote next week by the Security Council.

"Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited," Haley told an emergency session of the Security Council on September 4, a day after North Korea detonated what it called a hydrogen bomb.

Haley urged the council to impose the strongest possible measures to deter North Korea from further steps on its nuclear program. The emergency session was requested by the United States, Japan, France, Britain, and South Korea.

Haley said the United States would engage in negotiations this week on the resolution and said Pyongyang "has slapped everybody in the face" with its latest nuclear test. She added that the United States will circulate a draft for a vote on September 10.

Haley added that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, was "begging for war."

"The time has come to exhaust all diplomatic means before it is too late," she said.

The North trumpeted "perfect success" on September 3 in its sixth nuclear test explosion since 2006.

It appeared to be North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test, with South Korea estimating its strength at 50 kilotons -- five times the size of the North's previous nuclear test in September 2016 and more than three times bigger than the U.S. device that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, spoke by phone on September 4 and resolutely condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said Putin had told Moon that the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomacy and talks.

Russia regarded Pyongyang's latest test as a serious threat to peace and security in the region, the Kremlin said.

Russia' UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, in his statement to the Security Council emergency session, echoed Putin's position, saying that the North's test showed that "peace in the region is in serious jeopardy."

But Nebenzya said that military solutions could not resolve the crisis, adding that there was an "urgent need to maintain a cool head, and refrain from actions that can escalate tensions."

China's ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, again urged diplomatic talks to address the crisis, and told the council that Beijing would not allow chaos and war on the Korean Peninsula.

"The situation on the peninsula is deteriorating constantly as we speak, falling into a vicious circle," Liu said. "The peninsula issue must be resolved peacefully. China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula."

China's proposal for a freeze on North Korea's nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a suspension of U.S.-South Korea military drills is backed by Russia. China is the North's main economic partner and its only diplomatic ally.

Other Security Council members, including Japan and France, are calling for further sanctions. The council already imposed its stiffest sanctions so far on North Korea last month.

Germany, which is not a permanent member of the Security Council, also urged stricter sanctions against the North.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told U.S. President Donald Trump during a phone conversation on September 4 that she will press for stricter EU sanctions on Pyongyang, a German government statement said.

Merkel also talked on the phone to South Korean President Moon on September 4, and condemned Pyongyang's latest nuclear test, a German government spokesman said.

"In light of North Korea's unreasonable and confrontational stance, the chancellor and the president voiced their support for the international community to rapidly adopt additional stricter sanctions," spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

"The common objective is to avoid a military escalation and to reach a peaceful solution," Sebiert added.

The emergency session comes less than a week after the council strongly condemned the North's "outrageous" launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.

Meanwhile, South Korea says it has seen indications that North Korea is preparing more missile launches, possibly an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Defense Ministry said on September 4 that it was strengthening its U.S.-made THAAD missile-defense system, whose deployment south of Seoul has been strongly opposed by China and Russia.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa
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