Korea slams U.S. for convening UNSC meeting

Kelly Craft the US ambassador to the United Nations seen here in December 2019 has warned North Korea against a long-range missile test

U.S. "ready to be flexible", but urges N. Korea to stop provocations

The United States warned North Korea on Thursday against any resumption of "unfortunate ill-advised behavior" after Pyongyang raised worldwide concerns by setting an end-of-year deadline for Washington to reconsider its diplomatic approach. Speaking in London last week, he again branded Kim as "rocket man" and implied that the United States would resort to military force if North Korea did not denuclearise. However after three summits between the world leaders and numerous meetings of officials from both sides, no progress has been made in the negotiations.

She called North Korea's persistent shorter-range tests "deeply counterproductive" and, in an unusually direct condemnation by the United States, said they violated UN Security Council resolutions.

On Sunday, North Korea's Academy of National Defense said a "very important test" was conducted at a long-range rocket facility on the country's western coast, touching off speculation that the North could have tested a new rocket engine for either a satellite-launch vehicle or an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Pyongyang has returned to its characteristic aggressive rhetoric, and on Thursday issued a scathing response to American efforts to unite the UNSC against potential provocations from the North.

Ms Craft then hinted that the United States would seek further sanctions in the event Kim chooses to resume testing. "We are prepared to be flexible in how we approach this matter", U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said. We recognize the need for a balanced agreement and parallel actions that address the concerns of all parties.

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But she added that North Korea needed to make "the hard, but bold decision" to work with the United States.

While talks have proceeded, the USA has maintained crippling economic sanctions on North Korea, both its own unilateral measures and those imposed through the UN Security Council.

Beijing called for sanctions to be lifted, while Moscow blamed a failure in U.S. diplomacy for the latest rise in tensions.

Tension has been rising in recent weeks as Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests and waged a war of words with US President Donald Trump, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course that they had been on before launching diplomacy a year ago.

The US received strong support from France and the United Kingdom, with the British ambassador Karen Pierce urging North Korea to change its mind.

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For now, Mr Trump continues to flatter Mr Kim and highlight their supposed personal relationship, as he has done for many months.

Mr Kim Yong Chol called the USA president a "heedless and erratic old man" and condemned his "odd words and expression".

The council met for the second time in a week on North Korea's increasing ballistic missile and nuclear-related activities, this time at the request of the USA, which effectively blocked a council discussion on North Korea's dismal human rights situation expected on Tuesday.

But North Korea - which did not participate in Wednesday's session - has shown frustration since February's eagerly awaited summit in Hanoi ended in stalemate.

Any US conflict with North Korea could rapidly escalate into an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula and drag in other powers, especially China.

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Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said: "The volley test-fire aimed to finally examine the combat application of the super-large multiple launch rocket system proved the military and technical superiority of the weapon system and its firm reliability". But don't let those other things distract you, as the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un reminds us, especially when the nation just unveiled a brand-new ski resort.

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