HAMBURG (Reuters) - The United States, Japan and South Korea on Friday agreed to push for a quick U.N. Security Council resolution to apply new sanctions on North Korea after its test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this week.
Meeting at the G20 summit in Germany, U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to apply "maximum pressure" to counter North Korea's nuclear threat.
The leaders "decided to press for the early adoption of a new UNSC resolution with additional sanctions to demonstrate to (North Korea) that there are serious consequences for its destabilizing, provocative, and escalatory actions," the three countries said in a joint statement.
Taking a major step in its missile program, North Korea on Tuesday test launched an ICBM that some experts believe has the range to reach the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
The United States has cautioned it is ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea's nuclear missile program but said it preferred global diplomatic action.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday she would propose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea. Security Council diplomats said on Friday the United States had not yet circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council.
Following a nuclear weapons test by North Korea in September it took the U.N. Security Council three months to agree strengthened sanctions.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Alistair Bell; Editing by David Alexander and James Dalgleish)