North Korea Threatens US with Pre-Emptive Missile Strike

The U.N. Security Council has issued a strongly worded condemnation of the latest North Korean missile launch after the USA agreed to Russia's request to include a call for "dialogue" with Pyongyang in the text.

"Everyone came together", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters.

"We are not prepared to sit back and let North Korea threaten our homeland", he said.

"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting this ballistic-missile launch", the council said in the statement, referring to the April 15 launch.

North Korea's state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty pre-emptive strike" after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear program.

The council also warned the North of "further significant measures, including sanctions".

The Russian military on Friday denied media reports that it was building up its forces near the border with North Korea, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an army spokesman.

South Korea and the United States have also been conducting annual joint military exercises, which the North routinely criticises as a prelude to invasion.

Tensions have risen sharply in recent months after North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests a year ago and carried out a steady stream of ballistic missile tests.

On April 17, North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile that exploded within seconds after it took off, according to US and South Korean defense officials.

Asked earlier about Trump's comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Xi and Trump had had a full and deep discussion about North Korea when they met this month. None of the US officials who told Reuters about the heightened level of activity by Chinese bombers suggested alarm or signalled that they knew the precise reason for such activity.

Ryan said he was encouraged by the results of efforts to work with China to reduce tension, but that it was unacceptable North Korea might be able to strike allies with nuclear weapons.

North Korea reacted angrily to the resolution, calling the statement "impudent words" and pointed fingers at the United States as the main aggressor in the region.

In a tweet on Friday, Trump said: "China is very much the economic lifeline to North Korea so, while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korean problem, they will". According to South Korean military sources, the move is aimed at subduing North Korea's intent to provoke the South into warfare.

North Korean's threat of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States homefront has created "a very unsafe situation", Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) said on Thursday.

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