May 31, 2017 7:09 am JST

US, China mulling response to Pyongyang: American envoy

UN Ambassador Haley calls Beijing 'productive,' hopes for deal soon

ARIANA KING, Nikkei staff writer

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.S. and China are discussing how to respond to Pyongyang's recurring military provocations, the American ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday, expressing hope that an agreement can be reached this week.

"The talks are ongoing, and we're just trying to decide the best way to approach North Korea at this point," Nikki Haley told reporters before heading into a U.N. Security Council meeting. "If this is going to happen every other day," then the council has to consider "how should we respond in a way that we actually stop these things or slow it down."

North Korea continues to test its missile technology in defiance of U.N. resolutions, which include six rounds of sanctions. Pyongyang has launched 12 missiles this year alone, including three recent tests since May 14. Following the North's two tests of intermediate-range missiles this month, the Security Council threatened to take further action against Pyongyang, floating the possibility of tighter sanctions.

Haley cited discussion about when the council should consider a new resolution, but noted that she believed Pyongyang ally China was being "productive" in its own attempts to confront the North.

"At this point, I do believe -- and I think the administration believes -- that China is doing back-channel networking with North Korea in a way that's getting them to try and stop the nuclear testing," Haley said. "So we're going to keep the pressure on China, but we're going to work with them in any way that they think is best. I think that we'll decide this week on what that looks like."

China, like the U.S., holds a permanent seat on the Security Council and can veto any resolution it opposes.

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