South Korean foreign minister says North Korea on 'reckless path'

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha speaks during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea on Sept 11, 2017.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha speaks during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea on Sept 11, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said on Monday (Sept 11) North Korea is on a "reckless path" with its continued nuclear and missile provocations in defiance of international condemnation.

"The price of its continued provocations in blatant disregard of the peace-loving members of the international community will be instability and economic hardship," Kang told a news conference.

Her comments come hours before the UN Security Council was to vote on fresh a US-drafted resolution imposing new sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes.

Earlier on Monday, North Korea warned the US that it would pay a "due price" for spreadheading efforts for fresh sanctions on the regime following its latest nuclear test.

However, a US-drafted resolution originally calling for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to its key exports of textiles and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to a financial and travel ban, appears to have been watered down to appease Russia and China, which both have veto powers, diplomats said.

It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and reduces sanctions on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows. It still proposes a ban on textile exports.

North Korea has been condemned globally since it conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said at the weekend that North Korea's "reckless behaviour" is a global threat and required a global response. The tensions have weighed on global markets, but on Monday there was some relief among investors that North Korea did not conduct a further missile test this weekend when it celebrated its founding anniversary on Sept 9.