The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, says the US is dropping efforts to work with China on a new UN Security Council resolution against North Korea following Pyongyang’s latest missile test.

The Ambassador suggested Beijing will need to take up any further diplomatic challenges aimed at shutting down North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

Haley’s comments represent a U-turn after she announced last week she was seeking China’s support for a new resolution aimed at isolating North Korea.

The change in tack follows a similar change in tone from Donald Trump who lambasted the Chinese government for doing too little to rein in its neighbour and traditional ally.

Trump vows he won’t let China ‘do nothing’ on North Korea after latest missile test

Haley said in a statement: “An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value.

“In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him. China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step.”

While Haley did not threaten military action against North Korea in her latest statement, she said earlier this month that the US would use military force if diplomacy failed.

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Haley had said last week her team was “constantly in touch with China and I can say that things are moving” toward a proposed new UN Security Council resolution.

Previous missile launches by North Korea prompted Haley, along with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts Cho Tae-yul and Koro Bassho, to convene emergency meetings aimed at hammering out additional sanctions.

That will not happen following the latest missile test on Friday, underscoring the change in strategy.

“Many have asked whether the United States will seek an emergency Security Council session on Monday”, Haley said.

“There is no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence. North Korea is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity and that are not complied with by all UN member states.”

Trump lashed out at China just hours before Haley issued her announcement by saying Beijing could have stopped North Korea from succeeding with efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Haley did not implicate China with her reference to violations of existing Security Council resolutions, although Washington recently targeted Chinese entities in a set of “secondary sanctions” against parties flouting the resolutions.

‘We can strike all of US’: North Korea underlines missile threat after latest test

The US Treasury identified the Bank of Dandong “to be a foreign financial institution of primary money-laundering concern”, serving as “a gateway for North Korea to access the US and international financial systems – facilitating millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes”, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last month.

Parties subject to the secondary sanctions also included Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co, plus two Chinese citizens accused of maintaining links with the North Korean banking executive Ri Song-hyok.

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