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U.S. urges China, Russia to take "direct actions" against N. Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged China and Russia on
Thursday to take "direct actions" against North Korea in response to
its latest ballistic missile launch.

"China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these
reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,"
Tillerson said in a statement, effectively urging the two countries
to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang to compel it to alter its behavior.

Tillerson has called Beijing and Moscow "the principal economic
enablers" of North Korea's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile
development programs.

On Thursday, Tillerson singled out China as the supplier of most
of North Korea's oil and Russia as the largest employer of North
Korean laborers working abroad.

Including China and Russia, the top U.S. diplomat called on all
nations to take "new measures" against North Korea over its launch
early Friday local time of what the U.S. Pacific Command said
appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

"Initial assessment indicates the launch of an intermediate
range ballistic missile," the Hawaii-based command said in a
statement, in reference to the launch of a missile that flew over
Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido before falling into the
Pacific Ocean.

Tillerson condemned the launch, which followed the Aug. 29
test-firing of a missile that also flew over Hokkaido and Pyongyang's
sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 as part of its
efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S.

"North Korea's provocative missile launch represents the second
time the people of Japan, a treaty ally of the United States, have
been directly threatened in recent weeks," he said.

"These continued provocations only deepen North Korea's
diplomatic and economic isolation."

The United States remains "prepared to defend ourselves and our
allies from any attack or provocation," according to the Pacific
Command. (Sept. 14)