The United Nations Security Council edged closer to imposing new sanctions on North Korea with an emergency strategy session Tuesday and a unanimous condemnation of Pyongyang’s latest missile test.

The council, including North Korea’s ally and protector China, met hours after warning Pyongyang that sanctions are a possibility. A statement issued Monday said the body agreed to “closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions.”

The statement is significant because it indicates a willingness by China to publicly tie additional sanctions to continued North Korean provocations. China has made similar links before agreeing to previous rounds of United Nations penalties, which are aimed at coercing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“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,” the statement condemning the May 21 ballistic missile launch said.

Additional sanctions were on the table for the special closed session called by the United States, Japan and South Korea, but U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had signaled ahead of time that a resolution proposing new penalties was not yet ready.


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Featured image courtesy of AFP