By Canberk Yuksel
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned a missile launch by North Korea on Sunday, amid rising tensions between the reclusive island state and the U.S.
Council members on Thursday "expressed their utmost concern" over the North's "highly destabilising behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council", a statement said.
The U.S. has recently ramped up rhetoric against North Korea, declaring the end of its "strategic patience" over its provocations.
"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President (Donald) Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready," Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday told sailors aboard a U.S. carrier in Tokyo Bay, as part of his Asia tour.
Pence promised an "overwhelming and effective American response" to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.
In an escalating war of rhetoric, North Korea on Thursday threatened a "super-mighty" pre-emptive strike against the U.S.