China slammed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while calling on all parties concerned to show restraint during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
The DPRK conducted its first successful test-firing of an ICBM on Tuesday, with the U.S., Japan and South Korea immediately demanding an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), said that the DPRK's latest launch was a serious violation of Security Council resolutions and was against the will of the entire international community.
"We strongly urge the DPRK to strictly abide by the resolutions of the Security Council and put a stop to any rhetoric and action that might further exacerbate the tension on the Peninsula," Liu said.
But at the same time, he called on all stakeholders in the Korean Peninsula "avoid provocative actions and flagrant rhetoric, demonstrate the will for unconditional dialogue, and work actively together to defuse the tension."
The U.S. took a tougher attitude towards the DPRK at the meeting, warning that it is ready to use force if needed.
"One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction," said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
She also urged China to do more to force the DPRK to give up its nuclear program.
"Much of the burden of enforcing UN sanctions rests with China. Ninety percent of trade with North Korea [the DPRK] is from China. We will work with China. We will work with any and every country that believes in peace. But we will not repeat the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day," said Haley.
The U.S. ambassador added that the U.S. would propose new UN sanctions on the DPRK in the coming days, and warned that U.S. leaders will take their "own path" if Russia and China did not support the move.
China and Russia opposed new sanctions against the DPRK, instead backing a compromise.
Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said Russia expected the DPRK to "declare a moratorium on the testing of nuclear explosive devices and the testing of ballistic missiles," but at the same time called the U.S. and the South Korea to refrain from conducting full-scale joint training exercises.
"All must acknowledge that sanctions will not resolve the issue," said Safronkov at the emergency council session. He added that "any attempts to justify a military solution are inadmissible."
China and Russia issued a joint statement on Tuesday, urging dialogue and the China-proposed dual track approach to cool down the current confrontations on the Korean Peninsula.