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UN condemns North Korea missile launch after Russia, US spar over words

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The United Nations Security Council on Thursday condemned North Korea’s latest missile test and demanded Pyongyang not conduct any more nuclear tests in a statement that was delayed as the United States and Russia sparred over its language.

A North Korean missile blew up almost immediately on its test launch on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

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The 15-member Security Council traditionally condemns all launches by Pyongyang. Such statements are agreed by consensus. It is rare for council members to wrangle over standard language and the dispute came amid U.S. and Russian tensions over Moscow’s support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Previous statements “welcomed efforts by council members, as well as other states, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue”. The latest U.S.-drafted statement dropped “through dialogue” and Russia requested it be included.

“When we requested to restore the agreed language that was of political importance and expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft … the U.S. delegation without providing any explanations canceled the work on the draft,” the Russian U.N. mission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The United States told council members it cut the words because they “would overly narrow the means by which the international community could arrive at a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the North Korean nuclear problem,” according to diplomats.

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Diplomats said Pyongyang ally China had agreed to the statement. 

The condemnation eventually agreed by the council included the words “through dialogue” and said the council was prepared to consider further sanctions.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions aimed at impeding the development of its nuclear and missile programs since 2006. The 15-member council has strengthened sanctions following each of North Korea’s five nuclear tests.

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Tensions have risen after U.S. President Donald Trump took a hard rhetorical line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programs seen by Washington as a direct threat.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing U.S. officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a United Nations Security Council meeting on North Korea on April 28 to discuss how the body can combat Pyongyang’s banned nuclear and missile programs.

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(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘He does not belong in this office’: Ron Reagan says Trump ‘has been crazy because he is crazy’

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The son of Republican President Ronald Reagan blasted President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Tuesday.

Ron Reagan, Jr. was interviewed on "Hardball" by Chris Matthews.

The host recounted Trump's attacks on Denmark after they said Greenland was not for sale.

"He wants to fight with everybody, including the quiet, American-loving Danes. What’s up?" Matthews asked.

"Well, it’s craziness, but I take a little umbrage at this idea that we have to ascribe it to something like the economy or his anxiousness about re-election. He’s acting the way he’s acting because he is who he is and what he is," Reagan replied.

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Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.

"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."

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Trump’s State Department busted helping Rudy Giuliani dig up campaign dirt against Joe Biden

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The State Department assisted President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in setting up a meeting with a Ukrainian official to “strongly urge” the new administration in Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

Giuliani backed out of a planned trip to Kiev earlier this year that was meant to dig up dirt on Biden. But the New York Times now reports the former New York mayor instead traveled to Madrid to meet with a top aide to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with help from the State Department.

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