THE US and China agreed new sanctions for North Korea yesterday after Pyongyang tested a ballistic missile capable of hitting Washington.
US President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that he had just spoken to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about the “provocative actions.”
He said: “Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled.”
A White House statement said Mr Trump made clear “the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies.”
He also “emphasised the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearisation.”
The Hwasong-15 missile was fired before dawn from a site near the capital Pyongyang — most likely from a mobile launch platform, making it less vulnerable to a US pre-emptive strike.
The launch ended a two-and-half month hiatus in North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile tests.
A special media broadcast later said the missile was “significantly more” capable than previously tested designs, able to deliver a “heavy nuclear warhead” to the “whole mainland” of the US.
North Korea tested a claimed hydrogen bomb on September 3 — which South Korean, US and Norwegian sources estimated had a yield of between 100 and 300 kilotons.
It said the missile was fired on a high lofted trajectory 2,780 miles into space before re-entering and hitting a sea target 590 miles away in the Sea of Japan.
South Korean military radar data corroborated those claims.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “declared with pride” the country had achieved its goal of becoming a “rocket power.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was “seriously concerned about and opposed to” the test and “strongly urges” Pyongyang to abide by security council resolutions.
The test took place just as a Russian parliamentary delegation was visiting Pyongyang to encourage the North to “stop the destructive escalation of tensions.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned the “provocative action that foments tensions and puts off the launch of efforts to settle the crisis situation.”
He urged all sides to “maintain the calm needed to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from developing along the worst scenario.”