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United States says North Korea 'begging for war' amid calls for stronger UN sanctions

US envoy Nikki Haley urged the 15-member Security Council to adopt the "strongest possible measures" to deter North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. South Korea said Pyongyang was preparing for more ballistic missile launches.

The United States has called for tougher sanctions against North Korea at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting. The emergency session was held after Pyongyang said it had detonated a hydrogen bomb.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the United States would circulate a new Security Council resolution on North Korea this week. It wants the member countries to vote next Monday.

Haley said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "begging for war."

"War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited. We will defend our allies and our territory," Haley said.

Watch video 03:18

Pyongyang ''begging for war": DW's Carsten von Nahmen

Echoing the sentiments of her boss, President Donald Trump, Haley said the countries trading with North Korea were fanning the country's nuclear ambitions.

"The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions," she said.

Trump on Sunday, in a thinly-veiled attack on China, threatened to sever ties with any country doing business with North Korea.

Read more: A closer look at which countries trade with North Korea

China, North Korea's biggest trading partner, highlighted the need for a diplomatic solution.

"China will never allow chaos and war on the [Korean] Peninsula," said Liu Jieyi, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations. Russia also reiterated its stance, calling for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. It said sanctions alone would not solve the issue.

South Korea gets greater strike power

South Korea and the United States have decided to remove a limit on warhead weight on South Korean missiles in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke to President Trump on Monday. The two agreed the latest test was an "unprecedented" provocation.

The South Korean defense ministry said North Korea's nuclear test was measured at 50 kilotons, or 50,000 metric tons of TNT, marking its strongest to date.

Under a pact with the US, Seoul can not deploy warheads weighing more than 500 kilograms on its missiles. An unlimited warhead would give South Korea a much greater strike power, in the event of a military conflict.

'Stricter sanctions'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a phone conversation with President Trump, condemned North Korea's nuclear test as an "unacceptable escalation."

Both urged the United Nations to adopt "further and stricter" sanctions against Pyongyang. Merkel told Trump that Germany would also pursue this at the European Union.

She also advocated more sanctions when speaking to South Korea's President Moon.

President Moon told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Security Council should seriously review cutting off oil supplies to North Korea. In a phone call with the Russian leader, Moon also called on the powerful group to review measures to cut off sources of North Korea's foreign currencies.

Boosting defense

South Korea's security forces carried out live-fire drills on Monday, staging a simulated attack on North Korea's main nuclear site.

The country's defense ministry said it would deploy the remaining four launchers of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

The controversial missile system has been opposed by China and Russia.

Seoul is also in talks with Washington about deploying other strategic assets, including aircraft carriers and strategic bombers in the region.

South Korea's defense ministry has said Pyongyang was preparing for more ballistic missile launches

"We have continued to see signs of possibly more ballistic missile launches. We also forecast North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile," Chang Kyung-soo, a defense ministry official, told South Korea's parliament in a special hearing.

Read more:What is China's role in the North Korean crisis?

ap/msh (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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