UNITED NATIONS – The United States has circulated a draft resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea following its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, two U.N. diplomats said Monday.
The proposed resolution has been circulated to North Korea's closest ally and main trading partner, China, as well as the three other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Russia, Britain and France, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private.
The spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said he had "no comment" on the report.
North Korea's successful test launch of an ICBM last week was a milestone in its long-term effort to build a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States. President Donald Trump searched for consensus with Asian allies Saturday on how to counter what he called the "menace" of North Korea.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council last Wednesday that the United States is prepared to use military force to defend the country and its allies against a North Korean ICBM if necessary, but she said the Trump administration prefers to use its clout in international trade to address the growing threat.
Both Trump and Haley put the spotlight on China, with the U.S. leader voicing his frustration in recent days that Beijing hasn't done more. But during their meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping, "I appreciate the things that you have done relative to the very substantial problem that we all face in North Korea."
Haley was tougher, saying that seven U.N. sanctions resolutions haven't gotten North Korea to change its "destructive course." She stressed that much of the burden of enforcing the resolutions rests with China because it is responsible for 90 percent of trade with its neighbor.
Declaring that it's time to do more, Haley said the U.S. would put forward a new resolution in the coming days "that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea's escalation."
She gave no details but hinted at what might be in a new resolution, saying that if the Security Council is united the international community can cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions, and hold senior officials accountable.
Haley said Sunday on "Face The Nation" that the United States is going "to push hard against China" because of its economic control over North Korea. "While they have been helpful, they need to do more," she said.
She said the United States doesn't expect the new resolution being negotiated to be "watered down" — as has happened in the past, mainly by China.
"It will be very telling as to whether China works with us, which we're hoping that they will — and we will know in the next couple of days whether that's going to be the case," Haley said.
It will also be very telling, she said, if Russia stands with North Korea and opposes the U.S. "for the sake of opposing us, or whether everybody is going to say once and for all to North Korea, stop, this is reckless, it's irresponsible, and we're not going to take it anymore."
The U.S. ambassador stressed that the ICBM test raised the conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs to a new level.
China has the ability to pressure Pyongyang, Haley said.
"They know that. We know that, and we need to see some more action going accordingly," Haley said. "And I think the resolution is going to be a really big test on that."