South Korea on heightened alert as North readies for army celebration

The statement says that North Korea must stop its nuclear and missile development programs, and urges China to stop its retaliatory measures against South Korea with regards to the Seoul's decision to deploy the US missile defense system THAAD to the Korean peninsula.

"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting this ballistic missile launch in violation of its global obligations", a statement read.

Such statements need to be agreed by all the 15 members of the council, Reuters noted.

Previous statements denouncing earlier missile launches "welcomed efforts by council members, as well as other states, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialog".

The North Korea situation makes military cooperation particularly crucial, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told Australian counterpart Marise Payne when they met late Wednesday ahead of the talks.

In January, North Korea had proposed to the Secretariat to convene an worldwide forum to review the legal basis for the United Nations resolutions.

Asked about Trump's comment about Xi trying hard, Lu said Xi and Trump had had a full and deep discussion about North Korea when they met this month.

Over the past week or so, North Korea has been taunting the USA, stating they are fully prepared to go to war with us.

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Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted North Korea over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said a period of patience had followed.

A concept paper circulated to council members ahead of the meeting states that North Korea's "pursuit of weapons of mass destruction represents one of the gravest threats to global peace and security the Security Council faces".

The videos match in tone remarks made by officials in the country, who often threaten to decimate the USA with a nuclear attack.

"China is the source of energy, of ideas, of innovation, of expertise", she said, noting 95 of direct investment in North Korea come from China and that the North's exports mainly goes to China.

It comes just one day after Tillerson, as part of President Donald Trump's hardline stance against North Korea, said the United States is exploring ways to put pressure on Pyongyang. But at the same time, McMaster said on "This Week" on ABC that "it's time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully".

The BBC's Stephen McDonell in Beijing says the Chinese government appears to be becoming increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its traditional ally.

The strike group was now heading to the Western Pacific "as a prudent measure" following a "curtailed" period of training with Australia, US Pacific Command spokesman Commander Dave Benham said on Wednesday.

The diplomats, who agreed to discuss the statement only on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private, said China had signed off on it.

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