Putin, Moon condemn NKorean test but far apart on sanctions

In this undated file image North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is shown at an undisclosed location

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that the United States would no longer tolerate North Korea's actions but said the use of military force against Pyongyang will not be his "first choice".

She had demanded a vote as early as Monday - as Washington is in parallel considering hitting Russian and Chinese businesses that have dealings with the North with secondary sanctions.

It was not immediately clear if the draft resolution had the support of North Korean ally China.

The concept of containment comes as the United States and its allies plan to go to the UN Security Council with major new sanctions, including cutting off China's oil supply to North Korea and imposing an asset freeze and travel ban on leader Kim Jong-un.

Lauding the recent USA military buildup in and around the Korean peninsula, Trump said, "Hopefully we're not going to have to use [military force]". Outside experts haven't been able to verify that claim, but say it's plausible.

Previously, South Korea was limited to their missiles having a range of 800km and warheads weighing more than 500kg.

As U.S. intelligence continues to assess the underground nuclear test the official cautioned there is a chance that waht North Korea tested may have been a fission bomb bolstered to convert it into a thermonuclear bomb, though not necessarily a Hydrogen bomb. South Korea's Defence Ministry said the four remaining batteries of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system would be deployed on a golf course in the south of the country on Thursday.

Though he took a more critical view this week, Moon previously raised the notion of military talks between North and South as a way to possibly ease the growing strain.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has condemned North Korea's latest nuclear and missile tests and offered to support any effort to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

While it is usual for the Chinese military to hold drills in the Bohai Sea off its northeastern coast, the timing of Tuesday's exercise has drawn special attention.

In a sign of the global stakes over Pyongyang's latest test, China said on Thursday that it had lodged a diplomatic protest with South Korea following its announcement that it would increase deployments of a U.S. anti-missile system.

The official, speaking to reporters on Thursday on condition of anonymity, also said there was a grave risk that North Korea might "miscalculate" the U.S. response to its behaviour and warned Pyongyang not to "under-estimate American will to protect ourselves and our allies".

The North has a history of marking significant dates with show of military capability, but its recent tests have been seen as driven mainly by technological needs amid an accelerating effort to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal. Beijing has repeatedly urged all parties to avoid rhetoric and actions that could inflame tensions, and called for a halt in annual military exercises between the USA and South Korea.

The draft resolution circulated to the Security Council members came after North Korea's sixth nuclear test and repeated missile launches, BBC reported.



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