LONDON British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday he had spoken with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and both had agreed the U.N. Security Council should take strong action against North Korea for launching a long-range rocket.
North Korea said the rocket was carrying a satellite, but its neighbours and the United States denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions just weeks after a nuclear bomb test.
"I have spoken to my Japanese counterpart this morning and we are all focused on looking at additional economic sanctions that could be applied against North Korea," Hammond told the BBC.
Of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Hammond said that China, as a neighbour, was "understandably" fearful of the impact of any implosion of North Korea's ruling structures.
"China is more cautious than some of the rest of us, for reasons that we do understand," he said.
"What we will be doing, the United States and Japan will be doing, is seeking to persuade the Chinese that it is in the interests of all of the international community now to apply some more direct economic pressure on North Korea at this point."
Hammond called North Korea's actions "extremely destabilising" for the region and said Britain would be summoning Pyongyang's ambassador in response.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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First Published On : Feb 8, 2016 00:00 IST