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U.N. condemns N. Korean missile launch, hints at new sanctions

The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council threatened new sanctions against North Korea Thursday in a strongly-worded condemnation of its latest missile launch after the United States agreed to a Russian request to include a call for “dialogue” with Pyongyang.

The council said North Korea’s illegal missile and nuclear activities “are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond” and expressed “utmost concern” at its “highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance” of six U.N. sanctions resolutions.

The United Nation’s most powerful body demanded an immediate end to the North’s nuclear and missile tests and threatened to take “further significant measures” — U.N. code for new sanctions.

The United States had accused Russia of blocking a council statement on Wednesday that China, North Korea’s closest ally, had agreed to by insisting on including language from previous council statements calling for “dialogue” with Pyongyang.

But Russia’s deputy ambassador Petr Iliichev told reporters Thursday morning that the United States acted in an “abrupt manner” and insisted that Moscow didn’t block the statement and was open to discussions.

The statement issued later Thursday by the council includes the language Russia wanted.

It expresses the Security Council’s commitment “to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation” and welcomes efforts by council members and other countries “to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.”

Council diplomats, speaking anonymously because discussions were private, said the U.S., which is in charge of drafting council statements and resolutions on North Korea, had dropped the call for “dialogue” as part of its effort to toughen the text.Speech

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