SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The latest on the response to North Korea’s missile launch (all times local):
South Korea’s new liberal president says he’s willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un amid heightened regional animosities in the wake of the North’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test-launch.
Moon Jae-in made the overture Thursday during a speech in Germany, where he was to attend the Group of 20 summit.
Moon also proposed the two Koreas resume reunions of Korean families separated by war and stop hostile activities along their heavily fortified border.
Since taking office in May, Moon has been trying to improve strained ties with North Korea, but his efforts has produced little progress with the North testing a series of newly developed missiles.
Moon says he’ll use both dialogues and pressures to try to resolve the standoff over North Korea’s weapons programs
Russia says it didn’t block a U.N. Security Council statement on North Korea but wanted to replace its reference to the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile because Russia’s Defense Ministry says it was a medium-range ballistic missile.
The United States, which drafted the statement, insists it was an ICBM.
A Security Council diplomat says there is no prospect for a statement unless it refers to an ICBM. The diplomat insisted on speaking anonymously because the consultations have been private,
Council diplomats says North Korea’s neighbor and closest ally, China, was prepared to accept the U.S.-drafted statement that would have strongly condemned Monday’s launch.
The draft reiterated U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement Wednesday that the Trump administration is preparing a new resolution that will include “further significant measures” against North Korea.
U.N. diplomats say Russia has blocked U.N. Security Council approval of a statement that would strongly condemn North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and renew a pledge to take “further significant measures.”
The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said North Korea’s closest ally, China, had agreed to the text. They said discussions were continuing Thursday to try to find wording that all 15 council members would approve.
According to one diplomat, Russia objected because the proposed statement said the launch was of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, told an emergency Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the launch “requires thorough clarification and investigation” and indicated it might have been a medium-range missile.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley retorted that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the United States and North Korea said it was an ICBM. She said if Russia needs intelligence to prove it, “I’m happy to provide it.”
– Edith Lederer
Thousands of North Koreans have rallied in Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang to celebrate the launch of their country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The rally Thursday was followed by a fireworks display along the Taedonggang, a river that runs through the capital.
North Korea’s state media have been running daily reports hailing the launch, which was supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and timed to coincide with the Independence Day holiday in the United States.
The successful test launch of the missile, called the Hwasong 14, is a major milestone in North Korea’s long-term effort to build a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead to attack the United States.
North Korea often stages rallies in the square to mark events that it wants to underscore as particularly significant.
A similar rally was held last month on the anniversary of the beginning of the 1950-53 Korean War.
The leaders of the European Union and Japan have called for tougher measures against North Korea after it test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The leaders said at a summit in Brussels that they “stand ready to strengthen measures aimed at further restricting the transfer of relevant items and technologies and funding for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
The statement said that “to that end, we call for the early adoption of a new and comprehensive U.N. Security Council resolution.”
The U.S. told an emergency session of the Security Council that the world must do more to “cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan and NATO should strengthen cooperation as the international security environment worsens.
At the start of a visit Thursday to NATO headquarters, Abe referred to North Korea’s missile development and territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.
“We must reinforce the foundation among Japan, the U.S. and Europe that share common principles and values by further strengthening Japan-NATO relations,” Abe said.
Japan has worked more closely with NATO in the areas of defense and cybersecurity in recent years, and Abe said Japan is now considering formally opening a NATO Japanese representative office.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he’s considering some “very severe things” to respond to North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. But he adds that that doesn’t mean he’s going to follow through on them.
Trump said in Warsaw, Poland, that he wants to look at what happens over the coming weeks and months and calls North Korea’s behavior “a shame.”
Trump says North Korea is behaving in a “very, very dangerous manner” and that something will have to be done about it.
North Korea launched the missile earlier this week. The issue will be a topic of discussion when Trump meets with world leaders in Germany later this week.
The NATO alliance has demanded that North Korea immediately halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, two days after the country test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
“Abandon all existing weapons of mass destruction programs once and for all and engage in real dialogue,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement as he welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Brussels.
Many NATO allies have openly criticized the test. U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking in Poland on Thursday, called on nations to confront North Korea’s “very, very bad behavior.”
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