April 28, 2017 / 4:37 PM / 4 months ago

Tillerson scolds U.N. for not enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to a speech at a Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea at the United Nations, in New York City, U.S., April 28, 2017.Stephanie Keith

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson scolded the U.N. Security Council on Friday for not fully enforcing sanctions against North Korea, saying if the body had acted, tensions over its nuclear programme might not have escalated.

"Had this body fully enforced and stood behind resolutions enacted in the past, vigorously enforcing sanctions with full compliance, perhaps we would not have found ourselves confronted with the high level of tension we face today," he told the 15-member council at the end of a meeting on North Korea.

"We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea, we will not reward their violations of past resolutions, we will not reward their bad behaviour with talks," he added.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish

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