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World powers must unite over North Korea’s latest missile launch, warns angry Johnson

By David Hughes

The latest missile launch by North Korea must be met with a united international response, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said.

Kim Jong Un's regime fired an intermediate range missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean in the second such test in recent weeks.

Mr Johnson condemned the test as "illegal" and the latest sign of "provocation" from Pyongyang.

"Yet another illegal missile launch by North Korea. UK and international community will stand together in the face of these provocations," he said on Twitter.

In a subsequent statement, he added: "The UK and the international community have condemned the aggressive and illegal actions of the North Korean regime and the succession of missile and nuclear tests. We stand firmly by Japan and our other international partners.

"We are working to mobilise world opinion with the aim of achieving a diplomatic solution to the situation on the Korean peninsula.

"This week the most stringent UN sanctions regime placed on any nation in the 21st century was imposed on North Korea, after being unanimously agreed at the UN Security Council. These measures now need to be robustly enforced.

"We urge all states to play their part in changing the course North Korea is taking."

South Korean military officials said the latest missile travelled about 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles) and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres (478 miles) before landing in the water.

Downing Street said the UK's focus was on pressing China to keep up the pressure on the North Korean regime to change its course.

"The PM is outraged by North Korea's continued reckless provocation and she strongly condemns the regime's illegal tests," a No 10 spokesman said.

"We are looking to China to use its channels of communication to influence North Korea and keep up the pressure on North Korea to change course."

US Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said UN Security Council resolutions approved earlier this week "represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take".

His statement singled out China and Russia, which he said "must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own".

The resolutions prohibit any country from authorising new work permits for North Korean workers and cap Pyongyang's imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Russia backed the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, but the Kremlin has also been critical of calls from the US to ramp up the sanction pressure on North Korea.

China's foreign ministry called for all sides to seek dialogue to reduce the tensions.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the situation remained "complex, sensitive and severe".

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