The United States on Friday called on China and Russia to take “direct actions” to rein in North Korea after it fired a ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific.
“China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
“China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.”
Japan was jolted awake in the early hours by an alert saying North Korea had fired a missile over its northern island of Hokkaido, the second such launch in less than a month.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in response said that his country would “never tolerate” what he called North Korea’s “dangerous provocative action that threatens world peace.
“If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future. We must make North Korea understand this,” he added.“We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act,” Abe told reporters.
The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on the missile launch. Ethiopia’s UN Mission, which holds the council presidency this month, said closed-door consultations will take place Friday afternoon at the request of the United States and Japan.
The launch came days before world leaders gather at the United Nations starting Monday for their annual ministerial meeting. Earlier this week, the Security Council adopted new sanctions in response to the nuclear test that ban all textile exports and prohibit any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency for the country.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said that combined with previous sanctions the UN has now banned 90 percent of North Korea’s exports reported in 2016.