The United Nations Security Council holds a meeting on North Korea on September 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by AFP)
Several members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have called for tougher sanctions on North Korea after a powerful nuclear test, which increased concerns in the West about the country’s weapons program.
Diplomats gathering for a UNSC emergency session on Monday said the international community was running out of patience at what they called North Korea’s increasing provocations.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre said his country was calling on the UN to adopt new sanctions against North Korea while stressing that the international body should do its best to ensure that the existing bans against Pyongyang were implemented.
Other diplomats said the UN had to pile up pressure on Pyongyang to make it put an end to its missile and nuclear tests.
“We cannot waste any more time. And in order to do that, we need North Korea to feel the pressure, but if they go down this road, there will be consequences,” said Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho ahead of the meeting, which came after North Korea said it had detonated a hydrogen bomb underground on Sunday.
Japanese Ambassador to the UN Koro Bessho (C) listens to remarks at a United Nations Security Council meeting on North Korea on September 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by AFP)
The UNSC convened a meeting last week to condemn North Korea’s “outrageous” launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. The United States, Japan, France, Britain and South Korea had requested the new meeting.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said her country, the main party to the renewed confrontation with North Korea, would not stand idle to see Pyongyang’s “repeated provocations.”
“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited,” Haley said, adding that the time had come for the UNSC to adopt “the strongest sanctions.”
Meanwhile, Italy, whose UN envoy heads the North Korea sanctions compliance committee, also described North Korea as a threat to international security.
"Pyongyang poses a clear threat to international peace and security," said Sebastiano Cardi, adding that North Korea was the only country to have tested a nuclear device in the 21st century.
The calls for new punitive measures came as China and Russia, two veto-wielding powers of the UNSC, which have better ties with Pyongyang, called for a more cautious stance toward the conflict on the Korean Peninsula, saying that adoption of more sanctions would not necessarily persuade North Korea to stop its weapons program.
"China will never allow chaos and war on the (Korean) Peninsula," said Liu Jieyi, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, urging North Korea to stop taking actions that were "wrong" and not in its own interests, Reuters reported.
Russian envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, said for his part that peace in the region was in jeopardy, adding however that "sanctions alone will not help solve the issue."
Nebenzia had told the council last week that adopting sanctions “does not propose any options for engaging (North Korea) in constructive negotiations.”
Russia and China have repeatedly called for a dialogue between North Korea, on the one side, and the US allies, on the other side, whereby Pyongyang would suspend its weapons program in return for an end to joint military drills by the US and South Korea.
North Korea has already been slapped with several rounds of crippling UNSC sanctions since it conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. The US and the European Union have also imposed wide-ranging bans to isolate North Korea.

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